Retail holidays are days of peak shopping activity, usually driven by an approaching calendar holiday or a local event.
Without a retail holiday calendar, you’ll miss your chance to prepare your store, staff, products, and marketing on time—you’ll also leave sales and revenue on the table.
Holiday sales grew 14.1% in 2021, and consumers spent a record-breaking $886.7 billion during the US holiday season of November and December alone. You can grab some of that spend all year long and get maximum results by blending in-store and online shopping options.
This guide shows you which dates to focus on, both globally and in specific countries.
Table of Contents
Retail holiday calendar: what you need to know
Learn the ins and outs of a retail holiday calendar, including what to do to prepare your store and how to track your success.
What are retail holidays?
Retail holidays are days of the year when shopping activity peaks, both in brick-and-mortar stores and online.
Some retail holidays, like Black Friday or Christmas Eve, are well known, and a clear opportunity to capitalize on peak foot traffic and increase sales. Others aren’t such an obvious chance for profit, but could bring great results for your store.
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That’s why it’s important to understand the nature of these retail holidays. Some of them encourage people to search for deals and promotions, others are about local events and supporting small businesses.
Knowing the difference will help you meet shoppers when they’re in the right mindset to buy what you sell.
How to prepare for retail sales holidays
Creating an enjoyable shopping experience for retail holidays has two parts:
- Getting shoppers into your store
- Making sure they leave satisfied with their purchase
The first part emphasizes the importance of holiday marketing: your window display, social media activities, paid ads, gift guides, giveaways, promotional emails, discounts, and pop-up stores.
Thanks to the retail holiday calendar, you can map your marketing far in advance. This way, you’ll be able to plan and create visual content, partner with influencers or other businesses, write emails, and prepare your website on time for maximum impact.
If you choose to open a holiday pop-up shop in relevant fairs and markets, this will give you plenty of time to work out all the logistics.
The second part focuses on the shopping experience and everything that goes into it. Here are some questions you can use to optimize your store for the holiday shopping rush:
- How can we prepare our product offering and inventory?
- Do we need to hire temporary staff?
- How should we organize staff shift schedules?
- How can we incorporate experiential retail or store demos and sampling to improve foot traffic and customer satisfaction?
- Can we offer order fulfillment options like buy online, pickup in-store (BOPIS) or curbside pickup?
- Should we move our brick-and-mortar store online to serve customers who want to avoid the crowds that come with the holiday rush?
This way, you can deliver on the promises you make in your marketing. The result? Not only happy customers that will buy from you again, but a happy team that made it happen.
Tracking important holidays
The more you use a retail holiday calendar to plan future store activities, the easier it will be to reflect on your past sales data and understand what worked and what could be improved.
This is where analyzing your point of sale system’s data can help. Use reports and dashboards to spot trends faster, pinpoint peak sales periods, and quantify the impact your retail store has on sales, customer retention, and your brand’s overall growth.
You can also compare and contrast your online and physical store performance, learn what your best-selling or most profitable products were, and see whether or not the tactics you used helped your store hit its seasonal sales goals.
With this knowledge, you can approach every next holiday with a stronger plan and make every year better than the last.
Global holiday calendar
These are the retail holidays to keep in mind (almost) wherever you are in the world. We’ve organized them by month, and included the year if they don’t always fall on the same date.
New Year’s Day: January 1
The first day of the year is a fresh start for people around the world. It’s a great time to run marketing campaigns and promotions focused on resolutions, self care, and yearly planning or goals.
For this time of year, there are obvious marketing tactics that activewear or health and beauty brands use to play into consumers’ weight-loss or well-being New Year’s resolutions. For example, brands that sell travel wear or planners can create messaging around getting a jump start on the year to plan your next vacation.
Blue Monday: January 16 (2023)
Blue Monday originated in Europe, but it’s growing in popularity. There’s no actual proof or science behind it, but it’s a day in January that has been marked as the most depressing day of the year. It kicks off the lull between the holiday season and spring and has become an important marketing day to boost January sales. You can use this day to cheer up customers by offering discounts.
Get to Know Your Customers Day: January 19 (2023)
Get to Know Your Customers Day happens annually on the third Thursday of each quarter, with the first one happening in January.
Rather than using this day to promote special offers or discounts, you can take the opportunity to get feedback from customers, either through written surveys or in-person conversations. This will help you improve your business and strengthen relationships with customers.
Since January 2022 has already passed, we’ve shared the 2023 date here, but there’s still time this spring, summer, and fall to add this to your retail calendar. These are the dates:
- April 20, 2022
- July 20, 2022
- October 19, 2022
Black History Month
Black History Month starts on February 1 and runs the entire month. It originated in the US to pay tribute to the achievements of African Americans’ in US history, but now it’s celebrated all around the world.
You can use this month to show your support and promote products you stock from Black-owned businesses. If you don’t sell any products from Black-owned brands, you can run a campaign highlighting a few of the brands you personally love.
Galentine’s Day: February 13
Galentine’s Day is the day before Valentine’s Day, when women come together to celebrate each other and their friendships. The way they celebrate ranges from dinner and drinks to shopping and a spa day.
While there’s no specific Galentine’s Day gifting etiquette, this can be a great day to host an event at your retail shop. Tell your customers to round up their friends, give them a space to gather, and run special promotions on woman-owned brands to encourage purchases.
Valentine’s Day: February 14
Around the world, love is celebrated on February 14. It’s a day when romantic gifts are exchanged, but you can also remind your customers that it’s a great day to celebrate family, friends, and other important relationships.
In 2022, Valentine’s Day spending reached its second highest year on record in the US—consumers spent $23.9 billion on gifts for partners, friends, pets, and more.
Like other marketing campaigns, your Valentine’s Day promotions should start ahead of the day to increase sales and make sure people have their gifts in time.
International Women’s Day: March 8
Around the world, International Women’s Day celebrates women’s equality and their cultural, political, and socioeconomic achievements. Depending on your brand, celebrating this day may or may not be important, but if it is, make sure you recognize it with the right messaging.
You can share a special offer, run a campaign to raise money for a local women’s organization, or use it as an opportunity to remind your audience about your brand story and achievements you’re proud of.
National Pi Day: March 14
Depending on the products you sell and your target audience, Pi Day could be an unexpected retail holiday to celebrate. It’s a day to celebrate the mathematical constant of pi (often shown as the Greek letter π), and it falls on March 14 (3/14) because the first three digits of pi are 3, 1, and 4.
If your prospective or existing customers are math geeks, this is a perfect day to run a contest to win a discount code or freebie.
St. Patrick’s Day: March 17
This Irish holiday is celebrated by many. In the US, 80% of people planned to wear green on St. Patrick’s Day 2022, and consumers were expected to spend an average of $42.33 on the day. But how does this translate to retail?
There are a few ways you can incorporate St. Patrick’s Day into your retail calendar.
- Run a promotion a week or two before the day on items that are green in color or environmentally friendly and therefore considered “green” products.
- Host a St. Patrick’s Day–themed event at your retail store to boost foot traffic, and offer a discount for purchases made on the day.
- Partner with other brands to create a green giveaway package filled with green-colored or environmentally friendly products and promote it via social media leading up to the holiday.
First day of spring: March 20 (2022)
In the Northern Hemisphere, the first day of spring is a great time to highlight seasonal products. Depending on your region, your customers might be missing the sun and looking forward to warmer and longer days. You can offer a first day of spring discount on select items.
International Cash Mob Day: March 24
Cash Mob Day started in Buffalo, New York, in 2011, but has gone global with events in many countries. It’s a day when shoppers join together at a certain time to support local small businesses and stimulate the local economy.
Not only does it help local retailers boost sales and compete with big-box businesses, it encourages consumers to discover new brands while having a good time.
Knowing this day is approaching, you could run creative Cash Mob Day promotions. For example, encourage customers to bring at least three friends to your store to earn a 15% discount for themselves and their friends.
April Fools’ Day: April 1
This day of pranks and jokes isn’t only reserved for friends and family. Use this day to share your sense of humor via social media or in person. You can post a funny meme, GIF, or video to engage with your audience and grow brand awareness.
Easter weekend: April 15–18 (2022)
While Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday and Monday are not as commercialized as Christmas, it’s still a time to consider running spring sales or special deals on products.
If you sell children’s products, you could also host an Easter-hemed in-store event with an Easter egg hunt and reward the winners with a discount or free item. And in some cases, adults may also be interested in the fun.
Earth Day: April 22
Earth Day happens annually on April 22 to celebrate a movement that started in 1970. Now, one billion people in more than 193 countries hold events on this day to support environmental protection.
Sustainability in retail is a trend that’s here to stay, and Earth Day is a great day to remind consumers of your commitment to sustainable business practices like recyclable product packaging or eco-friendly manufacturing processes. You can share your story on social media and through email marketing or create a campaign to raise money or awareness for an environmental organization.
Mother’s Day: May 8 (2022)
Mother’s Day is an important sales holiday to mark on your retail calendar. According to a survey from the National Retail Federation, in 2021, 83% of consumers planned to celebrate Mother’s Day, and shoppers planned to spend $220.48 on average. This was $16 more than the previous year and the highest amount in the survey’s history.
Many countries (aside from the UK, where it happens in March) celebrate Mother’s Day in May. If you sell products for moms or moms to be, create a marketing campaign to celebrate them and their importance in our lives. And to remind their loved ones (spouses, kids, or friends) to purchase a gift ahead of time.
For example, you can run a promotion on Mother’s Day gift bundles or offer special discounts in store for women to also treat themselves as they’re picking up gifts for their moms or friends and family.
Pride Month is celebrated globally in June. Depending on the region, you may see signs in local shop windows, rainbow flags, and special events to celebrate and support the LGBTQ+ community.
Depending on your brand values and mission, this is a great time to focus on diversity and inclusivity campaigns to show your support.
Father’s Day: June 19 (2022)
Unlike Mother’s Day, Father’s Day is celebrated across a range of dates, depending on the country, but it happens globally, which is why we’re including it in this section.
In the US, Canada, the UK, and Ireland it falls on June 19 this year and while it’s not as commercialized as Mother’s Day, it’s still a day to celebrate and recognize dads and all they do.
In Australia and New Zealand, Father’s Day is celebrated annually on the first Sunday in September (this year on September 4). And in Germany, it’s celebrated on May 26.
In all countries, it’s a day when people meet with their families and celebrate fatherhood. One way to help your customers find the right gifts is to create a Father’s Day gift guide and promote it via social media and email.
First day of summer: June 21 (2022)
In the Northern Hemisphere, June 21 is the first day of summer, and it’s the time when retailers run summer promotions on warm weather clothing and accessories, like swimwear, summer dresses, beach gear, and sandals. Depending on the region, it’s also a time when people take a summer holiday or entertain guests in their backyards. So if you sell travel or entertainment-related products, consider running a first day of summer campaign to kick off the season.
Keep in mind though, in the Southern Hemisphere, June 21st is the start of winter.
First day of school (varies)
The school year generally starts in August or September in the Northern Hemisphere and January or February in the Southern Hemisphere. It’s a time when parents, students, and teachers are preparing for the academic year ahead by buying new supplies, clothes, and backpacks.
If you sell these types of products, help make this time exciting (and in some cases less stressful) by running special back-to-school promotions.
For example, if you sell clothing, shoes, and other accessories, you could create a back-to-school deal where shoppers get 10% off when they purchase two pieces of clothing, a pair of shoes, and a backpack. You could even create bundles with pre-selected items to make the decision-making process easier.
First day of fall: September 22 (2022)
With the start of a new school year in the Northern Hemisphere comes the transition from summer to fall. Many retailers use this time to highlight warm and cozy products like chunky sweaters, boots, throw blankets, candles, and other decorations for the home.
If you sell these products you could use this day to run a flash sale on your new arrivals for fall.
World Mental Health Day: October 10
World Mental Health Day is recognized globally to celebrate mental health education, awareness, and advocacy against social stigma. It was created by the World Federation for Mental Health in 1992, and spans more than 150 countries.
On this day, people and businesses raise awareness and fight the social stigma that still exists around mental health issues. While it might not be suitable for sales or special offers, you can still recognize it as a retail holiday by showing your support. If it makes sense for your brand, you can reshare campaigns or posts from organizations you follow on social media, share a personal story, or donate profits from purchases made on the day to mental health organizations.
Halloween: October 31
Halloween marks the start of the holiday season in the US and in many countries around the world. Consumers spent around $8 billion on Halloween-related items in 2020, and this number is expected to cross the $10 billion mark in 2021.
This is a great time to prepare your store for this first holiday shopping spike. Customer spend is expected to go up for product categories like costumes, decorations, candy, and greeting cards compared to recent years.
You can also leave a great impression on families doing their holiday shopping early, especially those with children.
“Not only are those with children intending to spend more on Halloween-related items like costumes, they are also getting a kick start on their shopping, with more than half planning to start their shopping in September or earlier,” says Matthew Shay, CEO and president of National Retail Federation.
Singles’ Day: November 11
Singles’ Day, also called Double 11, is an unofficial holiday that celebrates people who aren’t in relationships. It originated in China and quickly became one of the biggest retail and online shopping days in the world. (With Alibaba’s $74 billion in sales on this day in 2020, that’s no surprise.)
It has now expanded into Europe. In 2020, the UK had £1.4 million in sales; Germany, £1.2 million; France, £900,000; and Italy, £500,000 in sales on Singles’ Day. UK customers spent 11.8% more on Singles’ Day in 2020 compared to the previous year.
In 2021, online sales increased by 80% in Italy, 68% in Spain, and 57% in France, when compared to compared to the average in the last week of October 2021. And Germany (35%), the UK (22%), and the Netherlands (16%) showed a significant increase in online sales on 11/11/2021.
This is a great opportunity for your retail store if you cater to and celebrate single people with the products you sell, which can be anything from food, drinks, and fashion to self-care and sexual wellness products.
International Men’s Day: November 19
It may not be commercialized like International Women’s Day, but International Men’s Day also exists, to celebrate men and boys and their achievements in work, school, family life, and other parts of their life. If you sell men’s products, you could do a flash sale on new arrivals or bestselling products.
Black Friday: November 25 (2022)
Black Friday, the day after US Thanksgiving, needs no special introduction. Worldwide, this day sees a 663% increase in sales compared to an ordinary day:
In the US, 70% of people shop in-store on Black Friday—more than any other day of the Thanksgiving weekend. Buyers seek Black Friday deals both in brick-and-mortar stores and online—to truly capitalize on BFCM, merchants need to meet holiday consumers’ expectations for shopping experiences that marry online and physical touchpoints.
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Small Business Saturday: November 26 (2022)
Small Business Saturday was started by American Express in 2010 with a mission to highlight small businesses and their owners and encourage shoppers to support local businesses instead of big-box retailers or ecommerce giants.
This is a great day to draw attention to the fact that you’re a small business owner by sharing the story of why and how you started your business and your mission or values. You can also run a Small Business Saturday special offer to drive foot traffic, awareness, and sales.
For example, ask shoppers to take a photo while they’re in your shop and post it on social media, tagging your business and mentioning that they’re shopping local on Small Business Saturday. In exchange, give them 20% off their in-store purchase on the day or their next online order.
Cyber Monday: November 28 (2022)
Cyber Monday is Black Friday’s sister shopping holiday on the Monday after Thanksgiving in the United States.
Its name originates from when the Black Friday sale took place in brick-and-mortar stores, while the intention of Cyber Monday discounts was to encourage people to shop online.
But shoppers now shop wherever is convenient for them in the moment, and rely on options like BOPIS. In 2019, retailers that offer BOPIS outperformed non-BOPIS retailers by 45% on Cyber Monday. And in 2021, eMarketer concluded that brands and retailers offering alternative delivery options are being rewarded with incremental sales.
With attractive discounts and flexible shopping options, your store can scoop its portion of the huge global spend on Cyber Monday (in 2021, this amounted to $10.7 billion).
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Giving Tuesday: November 29 (2022)
Giving Tuesday is a global generosity movement that happens on the Tuesday after US Thanksgiving. Founded in 2012 by New York’s 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation, this day of giving encourages people to do good. In July 2019, Giving Tuesday became its own organization. Now, retailers use this day to donate sales profits to charitable organizations that align with their values.
You could promote special offers in-store and online explaining that a percentage of your profits or all profits on select items will be donated to the charitable organization of your choice.
Super Saturday: December 18 (2022)
Super Saturday, also known as Panic Saturday, is the last Saturday before Christmas. It’s when many people do last-minute shopping.
WWD reported $38.6 billion was spent on Super Saturday in 2021. Shoppers are hunting for gift ideas, discounts, and gift wrapping—the convenience of getting everything done in one place and instantly.
This is the advantage Super Saturday gives brick-and-mortar stores over ecommerce, and a great date to plan for and prepare your staffing, store layout, and promotions.
Christmas Eve: December 24
Christmas Eve is the true last chance for Christmas shopping—gifts and groceries included. In the US, 51% of people wait until Christmas Eve to buy presents, and this is a record sales day in New Zealand.
In other words: this is another chance to serve last-minute shoppers. Whether you focus on just your store or also push online promotions for BOPIS shoppers, make sure your inventory can handle it.
Boxing Day: December 26
People shop for gifts for their loved ones up until Christmas Eve, but they often shop for gifts (and discounts) for themselves come Boxing Day.
If you choose to open your store on December 26, use this opportunity to capture shoppers looking for post-Christmas clearances.
New Year’s Eve: December 31
New Year’s Eve is the day when many people do last-minute shopping for outfits, food, drinks, and party supplies. Many also want to take advantage of the final holiday discounts.
Ecommerce daily traffic on New Year’s Eve went up a few years ago, likely due to the cold weather encouraging more people to shop from indoors. So even if you don’t expect significant foot traffic on this day as people get ready for the night, online ordering is worth investing into and promoting on New Year’s Eve.
US holiday calendar
Martin Luther King Jr. Day: January 16 (2023)
This federal holiday in the US marks the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. and celebrates his fight for racial justice in the United States and the civil rights movement.
It’s the first holiday of the new year, and many retailers run MLK deals. You can use this day to boost January sales, but make sure to also recognize the importance by showing your support and celebrating inclusivity and equality.
Super Bowl Sunday: February 12 (2023)
According to the National Retail Federation, 79% of adults say food and drinks are the most popular purchases on Super Bowl Sunday. For many people in the US, this championship game is the sporting event of the year, and is watched with family and friends circled around the TV, eating, drinking, and waiting for the halftime show.
It’s not vital to sell football-related products for this event, but if you sell food, drinks, or anything else that’s fitting, you can run a promotion a few weeks before the big game to encourage shoppers to stock up on items to help entertain friends and family. And if you don’t have any related products, you can still offer a discount code, post about the team you’re rooting for on social media, or run a contest.
Presidents’ Day: February 20 (2023)
In the US, this federal holiday marks the birthday of George Washington, the first US president. President Abraham Lincoln’s birthday (which is in February too) is also celebrated on this day.
Most people have a day off from work and many retailers run Presidents’ Day promotions to increase sales.
Memorial Day: May 30 (2022)
Memorial Day is a federal US holiday in remembrance of people who lost their lives while serving in the US military. While it’s not the official first day of summer, many people use this long weekend to kick off the season with outdoor activities, barbecues, and swimming.
Most retailers run Memorial Day sales, but it’s important to make sure the tone of your marketing campaigns and promotions is aligned with the essence of this holiday.
In the US, many schools finish up the academic year in June. This is also a great time to run graduation campaigns either for clothing and accessories to wear to graduation celebrations, or for gifts friends and family can buy for their graduates.
Independence Day: July 4
Fireworks, BBQ, and red, white, and blue are all recognizable symbols of the Fourth of July for Americans. On this day, family and friends gather to celebrate Independence Day. Even if your products are not particularly US-themed, you can find ways to promote them for this holiday.
For example, if you sell clothing, create a red, white, and blue assortment and advertise it in your window display, post it on social media, and share the collection via an email campaign. Or you can simply offer a percentage discount off all your products, or a select few.
Labor Day: September 5 (2022)
The social and economic achievements of American workers are celebrated annually on Labor Day. It’s a federal holiday and many people see it as the end of summer and the start of the new school or work year. This also means consumers are looking for new seasonal products and outfits. It’s a great day to run a long weekend promotion to boost the sales of new arrivals for fall.
Labor Day is also celebrated in Canada on September 5th.
Columbus Day: October 10 (2022)
The next long weekend in the US after Labor Day is Columbus Day. (This day has changed in the past few years, with many people now referring to it as Indigenous People’s Day to honor Native Americans.) Consumers today are on the lookout for deals and fall sales during this three-day weekend, so as long as it makes sense for your business, promoting a special offer can help you stay competitive.
Veterans Day: November 11
For retailers, Veterans Day is the day to honor current and former military members and their families with offers like discounts and special offers.
Brands like Kohl’s, Academy Sports, Columbia, Nike, Samsung, Under Armour, Nest Bedding, and many more offer veterans discounts up to 40% store-wide. Some stores also offer military discounts year-round.
If you want to honor and support military families with your store, these are a few examples of how you can make it happen.
Thanksgiving: November 24 (2022)
If your store is open on Thanksgiving, be prepared for afternoon crowds. But if you want to give yourself and your staff the day off on Thanksgiving, you certainly should—there’s plenty of opportunities to attract customers with the shopping season that follows.
Green Monday: December 12 (2022)
It falls around two weeks before Christmas, which means there are only about 10 shipping days left in the season. Shoppers are usually urgently looking online for last-minute gifts. Knowing this, you can add banners to your website promoting holiday gifts and special offers to encourage people to buy from you instead of the competition.
Australian holiday calendar
Labour Day (varies)
In Australia, Labour Day celebrates the improved social and economic conditions of Australian employees and the general labour movement’s achievements. The most important milestone of the movement was the introduction of a working day limited to eight hours. The name of the day and date varies, as it’s set individually by each state or territory.
Similar to the US, you can run promotions on Labour Day to entice customers to purchase.
Click Frenzy (varies)
Click Frenzy is Australia’s 53-hour shopping event. It was created in 2012, inspired by the popularity of Cyber Monday. All the deals are centralized on the Click Frenzy site, which received 1.9 million visits during its May 2020 event. It happens six times a year, for a limited period. The next event is on May 17, 2022.
Retailers can sign up on the site to include their branding information and set up deals and/or advertising space. If you want to seriously cut your prices for a limited time and give your store a boost online, this is your chance to do so.
Australia Day: January 26
The National Day of Australia (Australia Day) is a national public holiday that’s celebrated annually on January 26. On this day, Australians commemorate the arrival of the first fleet at Sydney Cove in 1788 and the proclamation of British sovereignty over Australia’s east coast. It’s also a day when Aussie retailers offer savings and discounts on all kinds of products. If it falls on a weekend, it’s celebrated the following Monday instead.
EOFY (end of financial year) sales: June 30
In Australia, the financial year ends on June 30. As well as being a time for Australian businesses to get their finances in order, it’s also a time when retailers try to clear out stock to make room for new products. So whether your business is based in Australia or you sell to customers in the region, the month of June is a great time to run special offers on big-ticket items or essentials, as Australian consumers are looking for EOFY deals.
Melbourne Cup: November 1 (2022)
The Melbourne Cup is Australia’s famous horse race—and a solid opportunity for retailers to win. In recent years, fashion and apparel stores saw an 8% rise in spend in the week before the Melbourne Cup. For specialty food-and-drinks stores and florists, the spend went up by 3%.
These spikes were most notable in Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, and Perth. Suppliers see a surge in demand for materials for hats and headpieces as early as July and August, so it’s always good to prepare your store and inventory early ahead of the Melbourne Cup.
Sofa Sunday: November 27 (2022)
In Australia, Sofa Sunday is one of the five retail shopping holidays that happen around Thanksgiving in the US. It falls on the Sunday after US Thanksgiving, and because most brick-and-mortar stores are closed on Sunday, it’s a popular online shopping day.
Whether your business is based in Australia or in the US (and you ship to Australia) it’s an opportunity to run Sofa Sunday promotions. For example, if you’re shipping from the US to Australia, you could offer free shipping for orders placed on this day.
Canadian holiday calendar
Family Day: February 20 (2023)
In Canada, Family Day is a federal holiday that celebrates family bonds and their importance. Canadians who live in the provinces that observe this holiday have extra time to spend with family and friends, relax, and shop.
That’s why many retailers offer special deals over this long weekend. If your retail business is based in Canada or if you have a large customer base of Canadians, add this sales holiday to your retail calendar.
Canada Day: July 1
Canada Day falls annually on July 1 and celebrates the official confederation of the nation. It’s one of the most popular shopping days for Canadian consumers, mainly because many retailers run special sales events and promotions on Canada Day. Some retailers offer up to 50% or more off select products, so to stay competitive, you may want to consider doing the same.
Canadian Thanksgiving: October 10 (2022)
Thanksgiving is an annual Canadian holiday and festival that happens on the second Monday in October to celebrate the harvest and other blessings of the past year. And since Canadian Thanksgiving falls before the Black Friday Cyber Monday shopping weekend, it’s a great way to get ahead of your competition and catch customers who are starting their holiday shopping early. You could create a gift guide or promote special offers in store.
German holiday calendar
Like many other European countires, in Germany, there are not many universal dates for sales events. Aside from following some of the global retail holiday calendar dates like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it has seasonal promotions that happen in both the winter (January) and the summer (July).
Ireland holiday calendar
Summer Bank Holiday: August 29 (2022)
The Summer Bank Holiday is a public holiday in Ireland (and also in the UK) that marks the end of summer. The celebration includes dances, parades, and carnivals to commemorate the end of the season. Customers are usually looking for festive clothing and accessories to wear on this holiday or special offers they can redeem on the day.
Culchie Shopping Day: December 8
The Feast of the Immaculate Conception is December 8, so Catholics usually go to Mass on this day. Before online shopping became so popular, it was a massive retail shopping day, as it was one of the last days parents had off from work before Christmas. It’s also a traditional day for people in Ireland to get into the Christmas spirit.
While it’s not as popular these days, with the global spread of online shopping and American traditions like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it’s still worth considering Culchie Shopping Day as a retail sales holiday if your business is based in Ireland or if you sell to customers in Ireland. There are always last-minute shoppers who need ideas or who are looking for special deals to cross items off their holiday shopping list.
New Zealand holiday calendar
Hawke’s Bay Anniversary Day: October 21 (2022)
All New Zealand regions and territories celebrate a founding day, when workers get the day off. Some regions, like Chatham Islands, keep this very low key, while others hold festive events and shows.
Hawke’s Bay Anniversary Day includes a multi-day event, with fairs, food stalls, games, competition arenas, equestrian events, and more.
As a retailer, you can take this chance to offer limited-time discounts. You can also open a local pop-up shop to connect and engage with your community, trial new product lines, and get on customers’ radar for the upcoming holiday season.
Canterbury Anniversary Day: November 11 (2022)
Many events spring up in the region around and on Canterbury Anniversary Day. Christchurch and Ashburton have fairs, food stalls with local foods, concerts, and cultural exhibits. This is also the time many people like to go hiking, white-water rafting, mountain biking, and exploring national parks.
From food and everyday products to clothes and outdoor gear, this is a great way for you to serve event goers and outdoor enthusiasts, especially as the warmer season gets underway.
Westland Anniversary Day: December 1 (2022)
Greymouth, Hokitika, and other cities have some festive events for Westland Anniversary Day, but many people simply use the long weekend off work and school to relax and explore the natural beauty this region offers.
Retailers can use this as an opportunity to connect with locals and tourists who want to spend time in nature, those that want to cook with their family and rest, or those who want to explore the town events. From collaborating with other local businesses to pop-up shops and local marketing activities, there are plenty of options.
UK holiday calendar
May Day: May 1
Typically celebrated on the first day of May, May Day is about singing, dancing, and eating cake. It’s an ancient festival that marked the first day of summer and is currently a traditional spring holiday in many European cultures. In the UK, many retailers promote special May Day sales.
Bonfire Night: November 5
Bonfire Night, also called Guy Fawkes Night or Fireworks Night, marks the anniversary of the failure of the Gunpowder Plot in 1605. On this day, there are celebrations across the UK, with fireworks, bonfires to cook sausages and marshmallows, a traditional Parkin Cake, pumpkin hunts, and toffee apples.
If your store sells either fresh or ambient foods, you’ll benefit from Bonfire Night–themed campaigns, window displays, and product bundles. There’s an alternative option, too: serving those that prefer to stay indoors, cozy and warm, with homeware and decor products.
You can find other unique angles to approach Bonfire Night. For example, fireworks cause many dogs anxiety, so pet stores can create campaigns with content and products that support pet safety and peace.
Mark these important retail dates
Retail holidays are way more than just Black Friday deals and holiday shopping in December. There are dozens of events, both online and off, you can prepare for and participate in to serve your current and future customers.
The key is getting your marketing, inventory, and logistics ready on time. This way, when shoppers are in the mood to buy, your store will become an easy choice for them.
This post was originally written by Marijana Kay and has been updated by Alexis Damen.
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