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7 Holidays and Events Retailers Should Prepare for in 2022

letter board showing store open times

With the New Year celebrations behind us, we’re finally settling into 2022. Now is the perfect time to prepare your business for the next 12 months. Although there’s still some uncertainty about what the next year will bring, for retailers, it’s more important than ever to seize on opportunities that will prompt customers to spend.

Sales and promotions work because they give customers a reason – an extra push – to spend their money. And the best time to run sales is when they align with things everyone is experiencing, like events or holidays.

To help your planning for the next year of your business, here’s a list of dates that are ripe for retailers to take advantage of. Some are precise dates, while others are entire seasons, but all of them are opportunities for substantial revenue and should not be left off any marketing calendar.

1. Spring (March 20 – June 20)

A woman with a mask on browses a clothing store

This winter has been another incredibly hard one. Along with the bleak weather, we’ve also dealt with the mental and physical toll an ever-evolving pandemic has taken. In 2022, the world will once again welcome Spring with open arms. And that means it’s a great time to run promotions and sales, especially on seasonal goods.

Spring signals a shift in the year and a massive opportunity for retailers. Most obviously, the weather improves and people are able to head outdoors and shed those winter coats. This presents an easy chance for retailers selling anything outdoor sports and leisure adjacent. Not to mention the return of dresses, shorts, florals, and floaty fabrics.

Spring brings feelings of new beginnings and fresh starts. This is a prime time to showcase homewares and decor, ready for those renovating or redecorating their home. Or, alternatively, latching onto the idea of the yearly ‘spring clean,’ cleaning products and organizational items, such as those from supplier Jot & Mark, have their time to shine.

With the shift to warmer weather and longer daylight hours, people also resolve to be healthier. This is a chance for any retailers selling food and beverages, skincare products, and anything that enables a more healthy lifestyle, such as products to build positive habits.

2. Mother’s Day (May 8)

Each year, moms across the country – and around the world – are celebrated on the second Sunday in May. But moms aren’t only receiving homemade artwork in macaroni frames, Mother’s Day is one holiday where people love to spend. 

According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), spending for last Mother’s Day was expected to be $28.1 billion in the US. Shoppers spent an average of $220 on gifts and celebrations – an increase of $16 from their 2020 survey. Although Mother’s Day is always a popular holiday, due to the pandemic, people are cherishing their moms more than ever with 83 percent of shoppers planning to celebrate. With the pandemic not going anywhere in 2022, it will undoubtedly be the same case this year.

So, what products are popular with Mother’s Day shoppers? Moms might have a reputation for being thankful for any gift but there are a few particularly popular categories. As noted by the NRF, homewares, gardening tools, clothing, books, jewelry, and electronics have all been popular gifts in the last few years. And naturally, cards and gift wrapping are critical items for Mother’s Day. Stocking a varied selection of these items is a sure-fire winner with customers.

3. Father’s Day (June 19)

A wrapped boxed is labelled 'happy father's day' next to a bunch of white flowers

A month after we celebrate the moms of the world, it’s dad’s turn on June 19. While the numbers of those planning to celebrate Father’s Day – 75 percent – aren’t as high as Mother’s Day, it still signals a huge opportunity for retailers.

Last year, spending on Father’s Day was estimated to be around $20.1 billion, with customers opting for clothing, delectable treats, gift cards, sporting goods, and personal care products, as well as greeting cards. 

However, even if you’re a retailer that doesn’t stock these items, that doesn’t mean you can’t promote products for Father’s Day. Around 45 percent of people celebrating their dads found the most crucial thing in their gift selection was securing a unique item, providing a great chance to showcase various gift ideas.

4. Independence Day (July 4)

The fourth of July may be a one-day celebration. However, Americans still planned to spend, on average, around $80 per person on Independence Day celebrations, including things like food, drinks, decorations, accessories, and clothing. Some people also buy products from BIPOC-owned businesses to show their patriotism in a unique way.

The holiday is also symbolic of the start of summer and the perfect time to show off your summer-related products. Retailers who carry items like outdoor furniture, gardening supplies, BBQ and picnic supplies, and outdoor games should be spotlighting these items. And it’s also the season to highlight apparel and accessories appropriate for the beach and warm weather in general. 

Summer is also when people are looking to get away on vacation. Although many travel plans have been cancelled in the last two years, in 2022 the travel industry is likely to start growing again. You can be sure there will still be demand for travel-related items, such as luggage, location-based souvenirs, and other accessories, such as travel wallets.

Flat lay of school supplies include a laptop, books, pens and calculator,

5. Back-to-School and Season (Late August – early September)

Did you know that the back-to-school and back-to-college periods are up there amongst the biggest spending events of the year? Parents and students were predicted to spend $108.1 billion for this school year. This was an increase even on 2020, with more students returning to in-person classes after a year of online learning. 

Overall, college spending edges out school spending as the higher of the two, with the average planned spend at a whopping $1200 per household for college supplies versus $849 for school items. Either way, some significant cash is being splashed.

For retailers looking to target future college students and their parents, items like furniture, decor, electronics, shoes and clothing, personal care, and, naturally, school supplies are all popular categories. Anything that could be helpful to a college student for studying, or dorm and apartment life presents an opportunity to hold a back-to-college promotion.

For younger students, back-to-school spending is also high across school supplies, shoes and clothing, bags, and electronics categories. Organizational items is another category that retailers should showcase. After all, the beginning of a new school year is the perfect chance to become a more organized, diligent student.

6. Halloween (October 31)

Halloween comes but once a year; however, the celebrations for this spooky holiday often start weeks before the big day. This is one holiday that generates a lot of cash for those who market their products for the Halloween market. Halloween 2021 was predicted to see over $10 billion in spending, even despite a pandemic disrupting many Halloween activities.

It should come as no surprise that nearly everyone celebrating Halloween planned to buy candy. Meanwhile, purchasing decorations was the second most popular planned spend. Additionally, around $3.32 billion was predicted to be spent in 2021 buying costumes alone. This is a perfect opportunity for retailers selling anything from pet costumes to jewelry to clothing and shoes.

Finally, around $700 million was spent on greeting cards throughout Halloween. A great reason to stock your most adorable pumpkin-themed cards and get them in front of shoppers.

7. Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday (November 25, 26, 28)

A woman visiting an online store website with a "black friday" banner

Everyone knows the weeks leading up to Christmas are when some serious spending happens. But there’s one weekend in particular where shoppers go wild. Black Friday weekend 2020 saw Shopify store owners process over $6.3 billion in sales. The average cart price was around $100 – an $11 increase on 2020. 

Black Friday is now a worldwide event and has even extended beyond a long weekend, with many retailers holding sales in the week leading up to Black Friday. 

What’s more, in recent years there has been more and more focus on small and medium businesses (SMBs), over big box stores. Small Business Saturday is the day after Black Friday and the ideal time for SMBs to get out there and promote their products.

The opportunity for sales during this period is endless. It doesn’t matter whether you’re selling seasonal products for Christmas or winter, gift cards, jewelry, pet supplies, home decor, minimalist goods, or toys. Even those retailers who generally experience a slower season during the colder months shouldn’t shy away from promoting products. After all, everyone needs something too for the summer months.

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