2022 Retail Tobacconist Guide to Holiday Readiness: Top Tips for Slaying the Season!

A new season is coming, and if you’re in the retail game, you know I’m not just talking about Fall. With recent supply-chain shortages and shipping delays, this year the holiday shopping season is getting a much earlier start. In fact, by the time you read this, I wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve already had shoppers come into your store looking for holiday gifts!

While the holiday season is expected to be anything but business as usual this year, one thing is for certain: the consumers are coming—and many are planning to spend even more than last year.

Whether you’ve been planning for this for months and are completely prepared, haven’t even thought about the holidays yet, or are somewhere in between, the following list of tips and strategies includes advice from fellow PCA members, along with best practices based on the current climate, to help get your store and staff ready to slay the season! 

#1 Staff Up

This year, many people have already started shopping for the holidays, so if you haven’t yet begun, now is the time to ensure you have the staff you’ll need for the weeks and months ahead. While each retail store is different, it is essential to plan and adjust your staff accordingly. I.e., if you were in a bind last year, then get some extra help this year. And when you’re ready to hire, spread the word far and wide —through public online job sites, your own website, social media, and even email. And don’t forget to ask your current employees—they’ll likely know a few good candidates.

When thinking about your staffing needs to carry you through the next few months, look at last year’s sales and foot traffic, anything special you plan to do this season, the current market, the local economy, competitors nearby, etc. A few questions to help you determine your staffing needs include: 

  • Were you short-handed last year? 
  • Are you already short-handed this year? 
  • How far away is your closest direct competitor and how much competition do you have within a few miles of your store? 
  • Are you planning on offering extra services like gift wrapping, etc. this year?
  • How often do people come in to your store only to soon leave without making a purchase?

Once you have a handle on your business needs, you’ll be able to determine how many people to hire and which roles you need them to fill. And if you need to hire, start the process now. The longer you wait, the less likely you are to find qualified talent and have enough time to get them fully prepared for the season. 

Remember, it all comes back to customer service. Having the appropriate number of staff can reduce wait times for busy customers who need to get in and out quickly while simultaneously offering more people on hand to help with selecting that perfect gift, all of which can greatly increase your sales! And, as Randy Silverman, owner of Smoker Friendly in Pennsylvania points out, “The week between Christmas and New Year’s is still a strong selling week.” Don’t cut yourself short during that final push!

#2 Prepare Your Team

Once you have your team in place, it’s time to get them ready for the season!  Provide them with the training, tools, and resources they’ll need to confidently handle any situation when you’re not around. Everyone on your staff should know what to expect throughout the season—especially on big shopping days, and be fully prepared to offer a meaningful, engaging, and helpful experience to each customer who visits your store. 

Some questions to ask to ensure your team is ready may include: 

  • Does each employee know about all the holiday specials you’re offering?
  • What happens if you sell out of an item?
  • Are your sales/return policies clearly posted and communicated to customers?
  • Does each employee understand and ‘know’ all the products?
  • Are all staff trained on what to do in case of a shoplifting incident, including recognizing warning signs and tips for prevention?
  • Does each employee know how to:
    • Appropriately engage a potential customer?
    • Sell your merchandise?
    • Listen to the customer?

Russell Wilder, Owner of Top Shelf Cigar & Tobacco Shoppe in Georgia recommends “Keep staff up-to-date on specials and keep all customers likes/dislikes top of mind to assist loved ones in their gift purchases.”

Mike Kimzey of Discount Smokes in Louisville, Kentucky, suggest you “Walk EACH employee through your humidor and give them 2 cigars for Mild, Medium and Bold that they can remember to help customers when you are not there.  They can make the customer feel comfortable by saying ‘These are the 2 cigars in your flavor profile that the boss recommends’.”

Additional suggestions for getting your staff prepared include:

  • Pair up new and existing employees. There’s nothing better than hands-on training. Consider pairing up new employees with existing employees so they can “shadow” and get first-hand experience from those you already trust.
  • Communicate often. When employees aren’t fully looped in to what’s happening, they feel less engaged and are less motivated. Prevent this by communicating with them directly and communicating often. Never assume someone else has fully conveyed everything to another employee. One PCA retailer further emphasizes the importance of “Communicating sales goals, sales focus, scheduling, expectations and other key points with employees several months in advance if possible.”
  • Show your appreciation. Don’t forget to tell your employees how much you appreciate them. This can be done with a simple ‘thank you’ or ‘great job!’, as well as encouraging peer-to-peer recognition, showing appreciation for employees on social media, and offering small gifts as tokens of appreciation.
  • Incentivize employees. Consider holding a contest with cash or other desired prizes to spur on excitement and sales. Jason Grimes of Deadwood Tobacco Co & Cigar Bar in South Dakota further emphasizes the importance of setting sales goals for your holiday team.
  • Provide specialized holiday sales training to all employees and clearly communicate any changes, updates, and new promotions in advance of launching anything publicly. Consider additional training for ‘pairing’, as well as gift ideas for buyers who may be unfamiliar with cigars.

While the holiday season can be an exciting, fun-filled, and festive time, it can also be stressful and filled with little fires everywhere if your staff isn’t prepared. Avoid this by planning ahead and training your team to represent your business while you’re away. And remember, your employees are the face of your business. When you invest in your people, you are essentially building a team of brand ambassadors who will exemplify your company values and help you reach and exceed your business goals.

#3 Exceed Expectations by Focusing on Service over Sales

Once you and your staff are prepared, you’ll be in a position to meet and exceed customer expectations and provide the positive experience that will make them want to keep coming back. And with the holiday shopping season starting even earlier this year, this is the time to amplify the customer experience even more than usual.

With the expected surge in sales volume and increased sense of urgency, customers want an experience that makes them feel glad they came to you. According to Chris Gwaltney, Owner of ABC Fine Wine & Spirits in Florida, it’s all about “Service, Service, Service. There are customers who will enter your doors for the first time in search for a gift. They may not smoke or drink so they will more than likely be uncomfortable and seeking your help. If you knock the guest service out of the park, they will not only come back but will recommend you to others. On the other hand, drop the ball and they are done with you.”

When it comes to providing exceptional customer service, keep in mind that consumers today value brands that provide memorable, meaningful, and engaging experiences. And when a customer feels they’ve received this high level of service, not only will they return to your store, but they will also recommend you to others, which will further promote your business and drive sales. And with more first-time shoppers visiting your store this time of year, you have the unique opportunity to turn each one into a lifelong customer!

So how do you do it? Actively engaging and listening to what people want is key. Daniel Greenwald of Cigars on Maybank in South Carolina says to, “Ask a lot of questions to assist customers in the decision-making process.” Charlie Davis of B & B Tobacconists in North Carolina, and John Sheerin of Original Seed Cigar & Lounge in Massachusetts also agree that ‘listening to your customers’ is essential, as you’ll then be better positioned to offer them the items they’ll most enjoy.

Additional tips for providing great customer service include:

  • “Always be happy, polite, and helpful. Always say Thank You and when appropriate, ask ‘Now that we have that gift checked off your list, who else do we need to find the perfect gift for?’” —PCA Retailer
  • “Three questions I always ask: (1) How often do you, or the person you are buying for, smoke cigars? (2) When you, or the person you are buying for, have smoked in the past, was the outer wrapper lighter or darker? (3) How much are you looking to spend?” —Brian Junkin, Assistant Manager, Saint Croix Cigar Co, Wisconsin

But great customer service isn’t limited to face-to-face interactions. Anytime you or your staff communicates with someone online, you are representing your business, regardless of whether you’re using a company account or a personal one. The way you interact on social media—through postings, comments and messages, email communications, and SMS messages all reflects on your business. Whether the customer deems it a positive or negative experience, they will remember how they felt about it and will associate that interaction with your company. A good tip is to treat everyone as if they were customers entering your brick-and-mortar location and find ways to provide the same level of care and service virtually.  

A few ways to amplify your customer service may include:

  • Consider offering live chat support or implementing a chatbot on your website to provide that extra personal touch when you’re not face-to-face. 
  • Do you find that you and your staff often answer the same questions from customers? Think about adding FAQs to your website or integrating the answers to more specific questions in product descriptions. 
  • Do you have a social media presence? If so, be sure you’re getting alerts when people reach out so you can respond quickly, efficiently, and kindly—the same as you would in your store. And if your staff is handling your online presence, be sure they receive the proper training so they are fully prepared to handle the tough questions, are using the “tone” you want for your brand and are creating long-time customers rather than short-term sales. 

#4 Bag it Up: Holiday Gift Packs and Samplers

For most brick-and-mortar retailers, the holiday season is the most important time of the year—it is quite literally the season for gifting! And with so many people shopping for multiple people on their list, there is a strong likelihood that at least one person on everyone’s list will be getting some sort of gift set or sampler pack. 

Some manufacturers will provide pre-packaged holiday gift sets, which are perfect for shoppers with a particular brand in mind. But don’t stop there! If you have items you already know are strong sellers, pre-wrap them to add a little something special and save time for customers who are in a hurry. Consider creating a variety of options at varying price points so you have something to fit every smoker’s style and budget. And with an entire store to pull from, your options are endless! 

A few questions to spark ideas may include:

  • Are there particular items customers often purchase together anyway? 
  • What would you want included if someone gave you a gift set?
  • If someone was new to cigars, are there 3—5 you would pull to help them determine their style?
  • What about creating a special “build your own” gift set at a certain price point? This would allow customers to essentially create their own sampler pack from a pre-determined selection. Make it more festive by having empty gift boxes or packages ready to go once they’ve made their selections.

Some ideas from PCA retailers include:

  • “Create combo purchases (e.g. cutter, lighter, cigar stand)” —Debbi Bromley, Owner, Pairings Cigar Bar, Pennsylvania
  • “Package together sets: lighter, cutter and cigar sampler for grab & go” —Cassie Rogers, The Cigar Room, Missouri
  • “Colorful Tubos for samplers/ gift packs” —Corey Grant, Tobacco Town, MI
  • “Have gift packages priced at $10—$20” —Richard Monroe, The Pipe Den, Florida
  • “Provide items that look “gifty”. It sounds simple, but often times the smallest piece of swag can make a big difference in someone’s decision to make a purchase. If you don’t have any gift sets from manufacturers, create your own!” — Chris Gwaltney, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits, Florida
  • “First-time smoker kits” —Clayton Bohr, Casbar Cigar, Colorado
  • “Gift sets in various price point based on your average ticket” —Russell Wilder, Owner, Top Shelf Cigar & Tobacco Shoppe, Georgia
  • “Premium Variety 5 packs” —Ryan Linzey, Owner, Lindan Import & Export, Aruba
  • “Create different gift packages for beginners and for aficionados” — Eddie Atalla, Godfather Cigars, North Carolina
  • “Bundle Cigars with Lighters and Cases” —Ken Neumann, Owner, Neumann’s Cigars & More, IL

#5 Stock Up to Sell Out!

The holidays are your sweet spot so it’s essential to have a well-stocked inventory—because there’s nothing worse than turning away a customer when you’ve run out of something. And with recent shipping delays and shortages, the time to stock up was yesterday.

Look at the last few years and the past few months to get a good idea of what sold well and determine what you’ll need to carry you through the rest of the year. Stock up on the items you already know your customers will be looking for—widely-recognized brands and styles, your store’s best-sellers, trending items, and specially crafted, boutique, or stand-out items. Whatever you need to order, do it now—your competitors already did. And don’t forget the Boveda packs!

  • “Have plenty of stock. When you think you have enough, order more.” — Joseph Scaffidi, Joe’s Cigars & Social Club, New Jersey
  • “Be prepared for add-on sales – have the inventory to sell.” —Leecil Culbertson, The Outlaw Cigar Co, Missouri
  • “Start buying gift packs, samplers and select accessories now.” —Richie Cucharo, SZ Wholesale dba Smoker’s Zone, Pennsylvania
  • “Have items available in several price categories for quick and easy purchases.” —PCA Retailer

When planning your inventory needs, it’s also important to review your budget. Look at your sales numbers from the past few years to get an idea of how much you sell on average during the season and on key shopping holidays (Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, etc.). If you’re a new business, consider talking with other premium tobacconists in the area to get an idea.

Some questions to help with your inventory planning include:

  • Which products on the market are currently trending? Any anticipated ‘hot’ products coming to market during the season?
  • Do you want to offer any seasonal products?
  •  What are your year-round best-sellers?

Once you’ve analyzed everything and are ready to order, make sure you’re constantly coordinating with manufacturers and suppliers to ensure you have enough inventory on hand (especially your best-sellers) throughout the season. Also keep in mind the lead time variability and supply-chain delays, which will likely increase in the weeks and months ahead. The bottom line is this—if you need to order, do it now.

Some additional tips for getting ‘inventory-ready’ include: 

  • Invest in good inventory management software. With so much unpredictability leading into the biggest shopping season of the year, make sure you have a strong system in place to do all the heavy lifting for you.
  • Have a ‘stock replenishment’ plan. To ensure you always have what you need, when you need it, you’ll want to have a process in place to keep your inventory stocked and meet customer demand. This will help prevent “out of stock” instances and stop you from turning customers away.
  • Give yourself extra time. Always plan for extra time when it comes to inventory, especially now. Factor in extra time for unexpected delays in shipping and receiving.
  • Communication is key. Maintain close communication with your suppliers, especially during this critical time of year. Your suppliers should know exactly what your needs are—well in advance, so they can ensure they are able to deliver upon them. Consider bulk orders and long-term deals with your most popular items to secure better pricing.

#6 If You Build it, They Will Come

The holidays look a little different this year…of course, this has been the theme for the past 2 years, hasn’t it? Well, to mix things up a bit, this year we’ve gotten a spoonful of inflation and a sprinkle of rising interest rates, which have impacted consumer confidence and discretionary spending. But despite these challenges, shoppers have already begun their holiday shopping, and many retailers have already started decorating their stores and filling their shelves with holiday buys. So, once you’ve got a handle on your inventory, it’s time to start sprucing the place up!

Get your brick-and-mortar store (and website) into the spirit of the season to entice customers with festive displays and smart merchandising —everything to evoke the warm fuzzies and drive sales!

Schedule some extra time to clean and decorate your store, lounge, and displays, and set up key merchandising areas, including front and center at the entrance and near the register for impulse buys.

  • “Display accessories and bundles near register to add on to sales” —Warren Brooks, Crown City Cigars, California
  • “Make up grab-n-go gift items, i.e., coffee mug or ashtray with a few cigars, merchandize it in a special gift section/shelf/table cigar” —Kraig Ravaiolli, RD’s Smokers Delight Inc, New Jersey
  • “Clean and perform maintenance on your humidity devices before the holiday season” —Chet King, General Manager, Over the Rhine Premium Cigars, Ohio
  •  “Stack it high to watch it Fly – pull out all of the backstock” —Leecil Culbertson, The Outlaw Cigar Co, Missouri
  • “Put an impulse buy table up with accessories and new products” —Cortney Waddell, Manager, The Cigar Room, Alabama
  • “Step up your game (cleanliness, dress code, etc.)” —Brian Ceres, General Manager, Old Virginia Tobacco Co, Virginia

When it comes to making sales, the way your present your products can be just as important to shoppers as the products themselves. Customers are looking for unique experiences, and eye-catching displays are a great way to not only get them in the door, but keep them there longer once inside, which generally translates into increased sales. When it comes to decorating, remember—there are several holidays occurring in the last quarter of the year. Don’t just decorate for one holiday—think of your customers and get creative by decorating throughout the fall and winter months!

#7 Make it Too Good to Pass Up

The holidays are all about deals! With savings top of mind for many shoppers this season, coupled with the fact that nearly every other retailer will be offering special deals and incentives, you’ll want to plan your sales strategy well in advance. Experts recommend implementing a variety of offerings, including but not limited to impulse buys, upselling, suggestive selling and special deals. 

If you don’t want to get in on the deals and discounts game, you may consider offering freebies or games with prizes. Think about holding a drawing in your store or on social media—every hour, every day, every week, or every month, to give away small freebies that customers will love. Or perhaps offer a gift with every purchase. These alternative strategies allow you to promote and compete while still retaining your margins. 

When strategizing, it is important to remember that your business is unique. Shoppers come in expecting a more personal touch and your promotions should reflect this.

A few ideas on creating holiday deals and discounts include:

  • “Hold back something limited that moves well to bundle with something that isn’t moving well and offer it at a 10% discount.” –Charlie Davis, B&B Tobacconists, North Carolina
  • “Package deal/specials are a must. It makes it easier for the consumer when purchasing gifts.” —Frank Thompson, Prime Draw Cigars, Maryland
  • “Offer Black Friday sales and 12 days of Christmas discounts” —Brandi Wheat, Partner, English Bulldog Cigar Lounge
  • “Give gift cards with humidor sales so the gift recipient returns.” —PCA Retailer
  • “Offer your discounts the last week before the holiday” —Chance Wehrer, Cigar Daddies, Washington
  • “Run a promo on gift cards. Spend $100 on gift cards to get a $10 gift card that can be used in January.” —Cassie Rogers, The Cigar Room, Missouri
  • “Give holiday discounts when someone makes multiple purchases.” —Keisha Miller, Slow Burn Mobile Cigar Lounge, Texas
  • “Specials on Cigar Accessories” —Ed Harvey, The Cigar Room La Hoja Humidor, New Jersey
  • “If inventory is stuck for any reason, I would prefer to reduce my profit and move the item, to move the cycle and replace with other stuff.” —Saleem Ahmed, Manager, Cigar Distributors of Texas, Texas

#8 Tell Everyone!

You have your staff in place, your inventory is stocked, your store is ready, your seasonal specials are planned—now you need to let the people know! And to execute a successful campaign, it’s important to plan early so you have time to create all the assets and schedule your marketing in advance of the rush. 

Historically, most retailers begin pushing their holiday deals in October to help build anticipation and get customers thinking about their business well in advance of the season. But times have changed. This year, some retail marketing campaigns have already begun, and many will launch in the coming days and weeks. You can decide for yourself when to start marketing, but whatever you do, don’t get left behind!

Tips for optimizing your marketing strategy for the holidays include:

  • “Actively work your email list a little more during holidays and attract more business.” —PCA Retailer
  • “Utilize an email service like Constant Contact to reach more customers. Highlight products you carry that are unique.” — John Ost, Ft. Worth Lone Star Cigars, Texas 
  • “Add the message of gift giving, not just self-purchase. That’s what the season is all about. Also advertise/promote via social media or other. Let people know what you have going on.” — James Miudo, Quality Importers Trading Co, Florida
  • “Advertise BIG for the Holidays! This doesn’t just mean traditional advertising. Newsletters, social media, etc., are good, cheap ways to get the word about your products out there.” — Andrew Barner, Drew’s Tobacco World, Oklahoma
  • “Advertise on all media outlets.” — Dorothy McCaffrey, A Cuban Experience, Illinois
  • “Direct communication with you customer base. Email campaigns, push notification via apps, text messages. Keep them engaged with all the new and exciting merchandise.” — Daniel Martinez, Cigar Savvy, Washington
  • “Make people aware that cigars/accessories make great holiday gifts.” — Harvey Burkin, Maxwell’s Cigar Bar, Georgia
  • “Showcase holiday specific items via video, not just pictures, on all social channels.” — Bryan Snyder, LIT Cigar Lounge St. Louis, Missouri
  • “Update your website and social media so that customers (and their spouses) find you and see your offering.” — Oliver Nickels, German Engineered Cigars GmbH

In addition to marketing your deals and promotions, creating a holiday gift guide is an incredibly powerful sales tool for retailers to use for the holiday season. When you create a gift guide, you’re introducing customers to unique and wonderful gifts they may not have known about—all of which just happen to be available in your store. When creating your guide, think about your target customer, who they’re shopping for, and what is most important to them. Consider highlighting your best-selling products, seasonal offerings, and bundled gift packs.

And to ensure you’re making the most of the season, here are a few key holiday sales dates to add to your calendar, with a more comprehensive list of Fall/Winter holidays included at the end of this guide:

  • Black November (November 1): Starts on November 1 and runs the entire month. So yes, the whole month is now one giant sale. And with shoppers being encouraged to start earlier this year than ever before, this creates a great opportunity to start promotions early!
  • Black Friday (November 25): Initially coined by a police officer in the early ’60s due to holiday shopping traffic jams, business began taking advantage of it in the ‘80s and turned it into a huge shopping day. It remains the biggest holiday sales day of the season, though many companies have begun launching sales well in advance.  
  • Small Business Saturday (November 26): Launched in 2010 by American Express to battle big-box retailers’ holiday sales and celebrate small businesses, it now includes multiple Saturdays throughout the year.
  • Cyber Monday (November 28): Initiated in 2005, this has become a huge driver of online holiday sales. The sale day hit a record $10.8 billion in total digital spending last year, a 15% increase from 2019.
  • Free Shipping Day (December 14): Launched in 2008 to boost the online shopping slump in mid-December when customers get nervous about getting gifts in time, thousands of retailers offer free shipping on this day with guaranteed delivery by Christmas Eve. 
  • Super Saturday (December 17): Sometimes referred to as Panic Saturday, this day targets last-minute holiday shoppers and is a great day to push inventory, as it’s the last full Saturday shopping day before Christmas.
  • Boxing Day (December 26): A secular holiday in the UK and elsewhere, this is a huge day for returning gifts and shopping is the US. Many retailers drastically cut prices to reduce their inventory in advance of the new year.

#9 ‘Tis the Season for Celebration

The holidays are not only a time for shopping, but also a time for celebration, and as a retailer, you have the unique opportunity to offer both to your customers! Whether you’re hosting an event to draw shoppers in or to celebrate and thank your VIP customers, events are a great way to do it all. And when you host them in your store, you get to show off your merchandise, offer special discounts, giveaways, drawings, free gift wrapping, music, food and drinks —i.e., all the things! And don’t be afraid to ask key suppliers and reps for tips on maximizing sales of their brand or line—they may even provide free or discounted products for the promotion or even show up in person to make the event even more memorable! 

Whether you’re hosting a holiday party, open house, midnight madness event or any other special holiday event, PCA retailers suggest the following to help you make the most of the season and capture additional sales:

  • “A couple weeks before the holidays, on your best weekday, set up a table with coffee, cookies, and maybe a hot seasonal drink and have a day long “Customer Appreciation” type of event. Discount all your slowest moving items and place them front and center.” —Charlie Davis, B&B Tobacconists, North Carolina
  • “Holiday Appreciation events leave a lasting impression when closing out the new year. Use this time to introduce smokers to new products and/or welcome new or potential smokers in.” —Frank Thompson, Prime Draw Cigars, Maryland
  • “Have multiple customer appreciation events with food.” —Rick King, Owner, 21 Degrees Cigar Lounge, Arizona

More Tips for Making the Holiday Sales Season Merry & Bright

In addition to the top tips listed above, there are many more ways to make the upcoming holiday shopping season a success in your store.

  • Extended Holiday Store Hours: many retailers expand their hours of operation during the holidays to encourage more shopping during the busiest retail season of the year. To compete with other retailers doing the same, be sure to promote your extended holiday hours so people know to come in.
  • Gift Cards: Gift cards are a staple during the holiday season! Whether someone is shopping for a cigar lover but doesn’t know what to buy or they just need some great stocking stuffers, displaying them near your register will produce some quick, easy sales.
  • Customer Appreciation: In addition to the holidays being the season of selling, it’s also a great time to show appreciation for your VIP customers. Find ways to show you appreciate them during this time of year. Whether it’s through personalized holiday cards, small gifts, special events, or anything else, the key is letting them know you value them.
  • Gift Wrapping: In-store complimentary gift wrapping adds a little something extra to complete the customers’ holiday shopping experience. Jay Davis, owner of Blue Smoke Dallas says gift packaging for customers is one of his top tips for the season, and Kathleen Kelly of Cup O’Joes in New York suggests offering to make gift baskets for customers really makes a difference.  
  • Beef up your Social Media: most retailers have a social media presence, and if ever there was a time to step things up—it’s now! With more and more consumers turning first to social media before ever setting foot in a store, you’ll want to give people near and far a reason to choose you over another store. And with Instagram prioritizing video over static posts, this is a great time to use your creativity to reach more people!
  • Gift Wish List: Kraig Ravaioli of RD’s Smokers Delight in New Jersey suggests having a “gift wish list for your regulars, index card with brands or accessories they would like, people can ask to pull their card and look.”

Make it a Season to Remember

This year, the holiday season is bringing more hope for the future and more reasons to celebrate than we’ve experienced in the past few years. And as a small business owner in the premium tobacco space, this time of year is likely your most profitable and exciting season by far. With people starting their shopping much earlier than years past, you have a great opportunity to be there when customers come knocking. When it comes to getting your store holiday-ready, don’t be afraid to think outside the box, get creative and have a little fun! However you choose to amplify your retail game this season, we wish you a successful one filled with joy, peace, and prosperity!

Fall/Winter Retail Holiday Sales Calendar


September 5:              Labor Day (US & Canada)

September 11:            Grandparents Day

September 17:            Oktoberfest begins

September 22:            First day of Fall 

September 27:            World Tourism Day

October 10:                 World Mental Health Day

October 10:                 Columbus Day / Indigenous People’s Day (US)

October 31:                 Halloween

November 11:             Singles Day

November 11:             Veterans Day (US)

November 19:             International Men’s Day

November 21:             FIFA World Cup begins

November 24:             Thanksgiving (US)

November 25:             Black Friday

November 26:             Small Business Saturday

November 28:             Cyber Monday

November 29:             Giving Tuesday

December 12:             Green Monday (US)

December 14:             National Free Shipping Day (US)

December 17:             Super Saturday

December 18:             Hanukkah begins

December 24:             Christmas Eve

December 25:             Christmas Day

December 26:             Last day of Hanukkah

December 26:             Boxing Day

December 31:             New Year’s Eve


January 16:                 Martin Luther King Jr. Day (US)

February 12:               Super Bowl Sunday (US)

February 14:               Valentine’s Day

February 20:               Presidents’ Day (US)