Last-minute Father's Day rush gets crowds searching for right gift

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Saturday was a busy day for Janell Awong of D'Iberville. And it never gets any easier to buy for either side of her family.

"This weekend is Father's Day for both of them. My Dad's birthday, my father in law's birthday, and his parents' wedding anniversary," she said with a smile. "So, yay me. I try my best. But I found something for me though."

It's an important time of year for retailers. The National Retail Federation expects Father's Day spending to reach a near record of $15.3 billion. The federation reported the expected spending this year would be second only to last year's $15.5 billion, the highest in the 15-year history of the survey.

"For Men's Warehouse, Father's Day is a huge day for us," said Faith Vikowski, assistant manager for Men's Warehouse in Biloxi. "We have all kinds of sales going on. ... Our focus this year was more on shirts and ties. We do have a lot of sports jackets though. A lot of people are coming in and looking at our custom sports jackets."

But despite the workload, the sales staff is down a few folks on purpose.

"We're short-staffed today because we really do have a huge focus on giving our employees the day off, especially our fathers," she said. "So, we really want them to enjoy time with their family."

Lylian and Kasaya Hansberry have a job to do. Keep Grandpa away from Grandma.

"We're distracting him while she's shopping and looking around for different things for him," Kasaya said. "I don't think he's actually ... I don't think he's catching on."

Nine-year-old Blair Holder hit the jackpot with some flip-flops.

"I got them because he needed new shoes and he doesn't really have that many pairs of shoes," he said. "I'm trying to make him look a little better."

Felice Lyles always finds shopping for Father's Day difficult.

"It's hard to shop for Father's Day because most dads have everything. They don't like certain things like the mothers do."

But she's found what she needed at The Epitome smoke shop at Edgewater Mall, where Father's Day always seems to be busy.

"Since he's retired, that's all he does is smoke cigars."

Copyright 2018 WLOX. All rights reserved.