Critical Retail Mini-Seasons
Everyone in retail understands the basic annual calendar: Holiday, Winter, Spring, Summer, Back to School, then Holiday. That is a basic five-season calendar which may be modified to some extent by apparel retailers who may insert an early spring “cruise/spring break” season and a fall season between back to school and Holiday. For outdoor retailers, there is usually a corresponding fishing, camping, hunting season that adjusts the calendar as well.
But to capitalize on other shopping occasions throughout the year, smart retailers look for ways to add in the following “mini-season” events to increase their impulse sales and keep their promotions fresh throughout the year:
- Valentine’s Day
- St Patricks Day
- Mother’s Day
- Father’s Day
- (known together as Dad’s and Grad’s)
- July 4th
At the simplest level, retailers need to identify the items or subclasses that over-index during this time period and improve in-stocks on those items across the board during the critical weeks of the min-season. Mini- seasons usually have a very short window of increased sales. The dates tend to “sneak up” on people and there is a last minute dash for candy on October 28-30 and February 11-13, for example.