How Will a Late Thanksgiving Affect My Holiday sales?

AsktheExpertsQ: I just woke up and realized that Thanksgiving is on the 28th of November this year! This is really late in the season. How will this calendar shift affect my Holiday sales?

A: First of all, I’m glad you woke up! We have gone from the earliest Thanksgiving in years (last year) to the latest Thanksgiving in years.

The first thing we want to look at is how the big box retailers react. We expect them to turn on their marketing machines by November 16th if they still want to make their numbers. Specialty stores will be forced to respond, or see their sales suffer. Business has been pretty good for specialty stores so far, but not that good for the big box stores, so we expect their promotions to really get going.

Keep in mind that even though you don’t directly compete with these big retailers, your customers are influenced by their marketing messages. As for December, the season is going to be condensed because of the late Thanksgiving. The normal late November, early December slowdown will not be as dramatic. You have to be ready with all guns blazing since Christmas will be here before we know it. Be prepared to make a lot of noise.

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avatar About Steve Pruitt

Steve Pruitt is founder and Senior Consultant of Blacks Retail Analysis and Blacks Consulting. With over 30 years of experience, Steve is one of the most respected merchandise analysts in the industry. His specialty is apparel merchandising and he has worked with clients in every sector of this category. Steve’s approach is highly customized; he tailors his analyses to the particular needs and market of each client. His work ties together the merchandising piece of the business with the client’s overall financial goals to increase sales and streamline operations. Steve is also a trusted general business consultant, known for his ability to help retailers plan growth and manage change.
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