Retail Holiday Calendar: 2023 Sales Events to Start Planning For Success

June 29, 2023

Retail Holiday Calendar 2023 Sales Events to Start Planning Your Promotions 1 retail holiday calendar

Humans are social creatures, and whether it’s the bystander effect or the halo effect, the people around us influence our behaviors, emotions, and actions.

That’s why it’s rare to see single attendees at an amusement park, and why dining experiences are built around socialization (e.g., the layout of tables and chairs in restaurants).

Ecommerce professionals can leverage that social nature to make it more enjoyable for consumers to purchase—and purchase more.

That includes staying on top of days when many people are likely to shop and encouraging them to buy from your brand.

During events and seasons like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, many consumers intentionally plan to do their online shopping.

Emotions are high, wallets are out, and people are ready to spend. The only question is: Will they choose to drop their cash at your store?

This article will go over holiday weekends, the biggest sales of the year, and various other shopping events so you can circle them on your marketing calendar and leverage the right channels to snag a slice of the revenue pie.

Read on to learn:

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Why you need to stay on top of sales events

Aside from the obvious money to be earned, there are a few reasons you should plan sales and events around retail holidays and other strategic sales dates.

planning calendar retail holiday calendar
Image: Unsplash

Avoid too many sales

If you hold a sale every time there’s a long weekend or special day, you’ll constantly be discounting your wares.

This can dilute your brand perception and train your shoppers to “wait” for the next sale to see if they can get a better price.

Contrary to the title of this article, you should limit the number of sales you hold throughout the year. We’re providing a full retail calendar, but you need to choose the key holidays to focus on.

Knowing important marketing dates in advance can help you strategically plan your discount events.

Doing so lets you set your sales and offers calendar without having to worry you forgot one.

Tip: Instead of an outright sale, consider cross-selling and product bundling to help you deplete old inventory, or holding events exclusive to your loyal customers (which are also great for customer retention).

Allocate resources wisely

Every sale event costs internal resources to manage and execute.

Your team will need to spend time and money on designs, copy, inventory, training sales personnel, and more.

Having too many sales keeps your team constantly busy with those activities instead of focusing on growing your brand equity, researching new SKUs, optimizing your product pages, and spearheading other growth initiatives.

Select strategic dates for your sales to achieve a higher return on that investment.

According to FinMasters, “Americans spent $777.35 billion on holiday-related purchases” in 2020 (and, lucky for us, more than half preferred to buy online).

2023 Retail holiday calendar

january calendar retail holiday calendar
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The below list covers an array of calendar events in 2023, from the biggest sales of the year to various discount seasons and holiday weekends that give consumers more time to shop.

Tip: Add these events to your Google Calendar! Click the link to subscribe to a Google Calendar that marks all of the dates below in your own calendar.

New Year’s Day — January 1st

New Year’s may not seem like a huge shopping day, but many businesses hold sales that day. You can leverage the “new year’s resolutions” energy according to your niche.

For example, if you sell meal prep kits or health supplies, you can offer a discount when someone signs up for a six-month subscription as part of their new year’s goals.

Planning notes:

  • In 2023, New Year’s Day falls on a Sunday, so the following Monday is a holiday, creating a long sales weekend.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day — January 16th

This is one of the first holiday weekends of the year, so people hunt for deals on things like clothing for the coming seasons and home goods for a fresh start.

Planning notes:

  • The holiday always falls on the third Monday in January, resulting in a long weekend.

Lunar New Year — January 22nd

lunar new year retail holiday calendar
Image: Unsplash

Lunar New Year changes each year, as it follows the cycle of the moon. This is an important date in many cultures around the world, where people celebrate with food, gifts, and parties.

Expect to see spikes in spending on and around this date. Lunar New Year is widely followed in Eastern Asian culture and signifies an auspicious time to start new endeavors. You can expect to see spikes in expensive gifts and other items considered “lucky” on and around this time.

Planning notes:

  • This event signals the start of the lunar calendar.

Valentine’s Day — February 14th

valentines retail holiday calendar
Image: Unsplash

Valentine’s Day focuses on giving gifts to romantic partners (and loved ones in general). Anticipate boosts in sales of jewelry, chocolates, pastries, and even lingerie.

Use this holiday to frame your products in a romantic light.

Planning notes:

  • Products that sell best include flowers, chocolates, jewelry, perfume, and handbags.

Presidents’ Day — February 20th

Presidents’ Day brings some of the best holiday sales, including mattresses and appliances for shoppers who didn’t get the electronics they were eyeing on Black Friday or as a gift over the holidays.

Planning notes:

  • Presidents’ Day always falls on the third Monday in February and so leads to a long weekend.

St. Patrick’s Day — March 17th

The days leading up to St. Patrick’s Day are a great time to push any green-colored items, so consider featuring those shades on your homepage, featured collections, and in any window displays, if you have retail stores.

Easter Sunday — April 9th

easter retail holiday calendar
Image: Unsplash

Although Easter Sunday itself should be relatively quiet when it comes to shopping, the days leading up to the holiday will be full of weekend sales.

It’s not a national holiday, but many families gather to eat holiday-specific foods and host activities.

Consider putting together Easter baskets, items that make it easier to prepare Easter meals, and egg-decorating kits and activities.

Planning notes:

  • Easter is always the first Sunday after the full moon which occurs on or after the spring equinox.

Cinco de Mayo — May 5th

Cinco de Mayo is a lively holiday that has shoppers looking for creative drink mixes, holiday-themed snacks, and other accessories in keeping with the festivities.

Mother’s Day — May 14th

Mother’s Day is a beloved holiday where you can anticipate higher sales in jewelry, perfume, flowers, chocolates, and other popular gifts for moms.

Planning notes:

  • Mother’s Day falls on the second Sunday in May each year.
  • Products that sell best include flowers, chocolates, jewelry, and perfume.

Memorial Day — May 29th

This long weekend brings plenty of shopping opportunities, where consumers expect deals on clothing, furniture, mattresses, and appliances.

helix mattresses retail holiday calendar
Image: Helix

If you have any big-ticket items taking up space in your warehouse, now’s the time to push them.

Planning notes:

  • This occurs on the last Monday in May.
  • Products that sell best include mattresses, furniture, and appliances.

Father’s Day — June 18th

Father’s Day is another beloved holiday where you can expect to see a bump in sales in sports goods, watches, menswear, ties, wallets, gadgets, tools, and other popular items for dads.

Planning notes:

  • This holiday falls on the third Sunday in June each year.
  • Products that sell best include electronics, watches, wallets, and neckties.

Juneteenth — June 19th

Juneteenth National Independence Day is a long weekend in many states, so many holiday weekend shoppers venture out in search of deals on clothing, health and beauty, and home goods.

Planning notes:

  • In most states, Juneteenth is a long weekend.

Independence Day — July 4th

fireworks flag retail holiday calendar
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Independence Day, or the Fourth of July, is a huge celebration across the nation.

It commonly leads to a spike in sales of things like outdoor furniture, barbeque grills, and patriotic-themed goods.

This holiday is typically an excuse to run sales in general, so consumers are likely to be in the shopping mood.

Amazon Prime Day — July 11-12th

Although this is a big day for Amazon sellers and Prime members, in particular, plenty of other online stores follow suit and offer their own deals during the same time.

Amazon Prime Day is typically held over two days, sometime in mid-July. The first one was July 15th, 2015, and it commemorated the company’s 20th anniversary.

In 2022, it was July 12th and 13th, and it’ll happen in the same week for 2023.

Parents’ Day — July 23rd

We had the well-known Mother’s Day and Father’s Day—now, there’s Parents’ Day.

This is the day to celebrate both parents, usually with items like food, flowers, drinks, and other related gifts.

Planning notes:

  • This holiday always falls on the fourth Sunday of July.

Labor Day — September 4th

This holiday usually sees plenty of deals on appliances, mattresses, clothing, and other household essentials.

The long weekend marks the end of the grilling season in many regions.

Planning notes:

  • Labor Day is the first Monday in September.

Grandparents’ Day — September 10th

Grandparents’ Day is the perfect day to spend time with your grandparents and shower them with presents as they did for you when you were younger.

Anticipate a higher volume of people dining out, spending on food, and buying gifts for grandma and grandpa.

Planning notes:

  • Every year, this holiday falls on the first Sunday after Labor Day.

Columbus Day — October 9th

Another long weekend, this holiday sees more sales on essentials and larger items such as mattresses, appliances, electronics, and the usual clothing and accessories.

Planning notes:

  • Columbus Day always occurs on the second Monday in October.

Halloween — October 31st

halloween retail holiday calendar
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Halloween sees high sales of candy and treats, costumes, makeup, clothing, and accessories as eager children and adults alike prepare to dress up for a night of revelry.

Veterans Day — November 11th

Veterans Day is a long holiday weekend that promises great deals, particularly for stores that want to start their Black Friday sales early, but also shoppers who want to avoid Black Friday crowds.

Consider carrying over any Veterans Day sales into Black Friday, marketing them as the same great deals without the crowds (and will all the stock).

Thanksgiving — November 23rd

thanksgiving retail holiday calendar
Image: Unsplash

Thanksgiving itself is typically a quiet day for retail, but it ushers in the beginning of the Cyber Five period, which lasts from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday.

This holiday marks the start of the biggest shopping spree of the year.

Planning notes:

  • Thanksgiving is always on the fourth Thursday in November.

Black Friday — November 24th

Black Friday is known as the biggest sale of the year, where consumers can find discounts physically and virtually at almost all retailers.

Every store, from Walmart to Target, Best Buy, and online DTC stores, leverages the energy of Black Friday to draw in shoppers looking for the best deals of the year.

Planning notes:

  • As part of the Cyber Five period, Black Friday occurs on the Friday after Thanksgiving.

Cyber Monday — November 27th

Cyber Monday is the Monday after Thanksgiving and, as the name suggests, it focuses on online sales and electronics.

This is a great time to buy and sell gadgets, appliances, and other items online, as this period has become a huge shopping opportunity where consumers and their wallets will be out.

Super Saturday — December 23rd

Super Saturday falls on the Saturday before Christmas Eve and is the last Saturday before people exchange Christmas presents.

This is typically the day when last-minute shoppers scramble to find gifts, resulting in higher sales of gift cards, trinkets, food and beverages, and other last-minute presents.

Christmas Eve — December 24th

Christmas Eve is the day before Christmas. In some traditions, people open gifts on this evening instead of Christmas Day.

It may not be a huge shopping day, but if you sell virtual goods with immediate delivery, you may see a bump in last-minute sales.

Christmas Day — December 25th

christmas retail holiday calendar
Image: Unsplash

Christmas Day is typically quiet in terms of sales since many stores are shut down.

But when it produces a long weekend, retailers see plenty of consumers purchasing gifts and hunting for post-Christmas sales.

Boxing Day — December 26th

The day after Christmas is when retailers are usually eager to offload their unsold holiday stock to make room for new inventory.

Shoppers are out on the prowl for deals on anything and everything that could have been a holiday gift for themselves or someone else.

New Year’s Eve — December 31st

new years eve retail holiday calendar
Image: Unsplash

The period between Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve is a great time to run end-of-the-year sales.

Merchants have leftover inventory from the Christmas rush, and shoppers have a little extra time to do some shopping for the next year.

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5 Tips for planning sales throughout the year

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Now that you have the important dates down, let’s cover a few tips to make your sales for each one even better.

1. Avoid siloed sales events

In addition to regular sales where you offer a blanket discount, you can experiment with multiple other offers during these fun shopping events.

For example, launch a new subscription box or bundle, align a product launch with a shopping date, or hold a seasonal-themed contest or giveaway.

When you rely on sales and discounts, you move your inventory for less revenue.

But when you push bundles instead, your shoppers get a great deal, and you enjoy the benefits of larger average order values.

2. Start a loyalty program

Everyone loves a deal, so, why not make your seasonal sales events exclusive for your best customers?

Running specials just for your top buyers or newsletter subscribers encourages deeper customer loyalty.

You also capture contact information that allows you to nurture the relationship during non-sale seasons. This is crucial since it’s both cheaper and more effective to sell to current customers rather than new ones.

Consider holding an exclusive event for newsletter subscribers, unlocking Black Friday deals early for your loyalty club members, or running unique bundle deals for subscription customers.

3. Follow the flow

Certain holidays are associated with certain deals.

For example:

With these associations in mind, time your offerings and align your products according to what people are shopping for and when.

If you run an art supply store, for instance, you can feature face paint for Halloween, school supplies in August, holiday cards on Mother’s Day, and green glitter and stationery for St. Patrick’s Day.

4. Watch your competitors

Pay attention to the deals, bundles, competitions, and events your competitors run.

You shouldn’t copy them exactly and risk holding a Mother’s Day afternoon tea at the same time as a dozen other businesses.

Instead, think up new and interesting ways to capture your audience’s attention. Focus on filling in the gaps your competitors miss.

For example, you might sell a tea set that gives customers everything they need to host afternoon tea in the comfort of their own homes, and offer pre-ordering for delivery on Mother’s Day.

5. Build compelling landing pages

Exciting shoppers about sales is one thing—convincing them to convert is another. To transform interest into a tangible purchase, you need to create compelling landing pages.

A great option for this is an all-in-one page builder that lets you easily add various conversion elements, such as countdown timers, product reviews, social media feeds, collections, and easy checkout buttons for quick purchases.

shogun page builder retail holiday calendar

Ensure your landing pages are easy to navigate, well branded, and showcase your value proposition clearly, as well as feature CTAs prominently.

Be cognizant of retail holidays to launch sales strategically

We’ve educated you about key shopping dates for consumers, what different sales seasons are known for, and upcoming long weekends you can capitalize on in your marketing.

Keep these major retail and online sales days in mind when planning your resources and strategies.

Holidays provide an opportunity to spotlight your brand’s offerings in a unique way.

Leverage the momentum of each season to convert your marketing communications into lucrative buyer activity.


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Rachel Go

Rachel is a remote marketing manager with a background in building scalable content engines. She creates content that wins customers for B2B ecommerce companies like MyFBAPrep, Shogun, and more. In the past, she has scaled organic acquisition efforts for companies like Deliverr and Skubana.

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