Promotions Calendar for the Holidays

Christmas holidays and festivities are right around the corner. Promotions and sales are the busiest time of the year for brands, so make sure you are prepared.

Christmas holidays and festivities are right around the corner. Promotions and sales are the busiest time of the year for brands, so make sure you are prepared.

Holidays are the time when people feel excited, they are in a better spirit and so more eager to buy, both for themselves or others. How you position yourself towards those holidays is very defining, as some holidays can help you upgrade your image, like earth day. However, this year’s holidays, due to the pandemic, holidays will be different, and this is why preparation is key to achieve a good end of the year. Retailers have had to adapt to both consumer needs and restrictions all 2020. The stakes are high for the holiday season, as it will make or break some retailers.

There is much uncertainty on what the consumer response will be to the holidays, whether they will tighten their belts or increase their purchases due to the need of feeling happy, hopeful etc. This is why this year more than ever it is essential for retailers to work on that theme of joy, to give hope to consumers. Innovate to create that holiday magic.

This not only applies to Christmas holidays, but to every opportunity retailers have for promotions/sales days, such as Valentines Day or Mothers Day, where differentiating yourself from competitors and innovating is just as important, but also, a little goes a long way.

This is a general calendar of the holidays you should be focusing on for the end of 2020 and beginning of 2021. Depending on the location of your shop, there might be additional holidays you could celebrate in your shop(s):

November 2020:

  • November 26th and 27th Thanksgiving and Black Friday: Black Friday is the day with the most sales in Europe It is the perfect time to take out all your clearance items. To prepare for Black Friday:
  • Email marketing
  • Online codes and promotions
  • Social Media
  • In Store Promotions
  • Start early this year with the promotions, as it will build momentum.
  • November 30th Cyber Monday: It is usually online to encourage shoppers to buy, but you should offer in store promotions as well. Perfect for customers who have missed Black Friday.

Example: Amazon physical pop up in Madrid

December 2020 until 6th-7th January 2021. Christmas:

One of the most important events of the year in terms of sales, if not the most. The Christmas spirit means customers are happy, they feel generous and they are looking for presents to buy for their loved ones, so make sure you have a good campaign prepared in order to highlight yourself above other retailers.

  1. Take action early, before the holiday rush begins
  2. Have a strategy in place and all materials available.
  3. Take on extra staff
  4. Anticipate demand. Compare last year’s sales and stock up on items that you know are going to sell well
  5. Decorate your space to keep up with the Christmas spirit and have nice gift options available for the customers’ purchases.
  6. Holiday promotions: Bundles, free gift wrapping, 10% off. These small extras might make the difference in the decision buying process.
  7. Make your website holiday centric


Lancôme x St Pancras

Moet Chandon Pop Up Shop

Rest of January 2021

  • Normally, this will be a slow time. Customers have spent lots of money on Christmas and January is when they realize it and they will try to cut back. This is why it is the perfect time for Fall/Winter Sales, which will normally last until the end of February. It is the moment to clear out your warehouse and profit from it.

February 2021:

  • February 12th: Chinese New Year: If you have a Chinese customer base, it is very important that you celebrate this holiday with promotions and decorations.

Example: Duty Free Chinese New Year

  • February 14th: Valentine’s Day: This has become an important day not only for couples or marriages, but also for friends. It is an excellent opportunity to offer something special. Also, don’t forget to hang some hearts and have appropriate wrapping paper.

Example: Virgin Train’s Love Carriage

March 2021:

  • March 8th: Women’s Day. It is becoming an important date, so make sure to show your support on social media!

Example: Lancôme Hong Kong Pop Up

  • March 17th: St Patrick's Day: Add some green decorations, or some kind of discount

Example: Brands online activations

April 2021:

  • Easter
  • April 22nd Earth Day: Depending on your business, choose to have some little sign of appreciation (Ex, 2% of sales go towards planting trees). This can really boost your brand image.

Here are a couple initiatives you can follow

May 2021:

  • May 1st: Labour Day: celebrated worldwide: Promotion / sale
  • May 9th Mothers Day: This is a big retail holiday. Make sure to congratulate mothers, provide discounts, extra with the wrapping (small flower for example on package)

Example: Anthropology x A daily something: Mothers Day Flower Pop Up

June 2021:

  • June 6th Fathers Day: Excellent opportunity to make a marketing campaign, especially if your product appeals to men. Same actions as with mothers day

Example: Gilette x Fatherly Pop Up

  • Rest of June and July: Spring/Summer Sales: Same actions as with Fall/Winter.

In conclusion, make sure to be ready for the holiday season and choose depending on your business which holidays apply to your store. As mentioned above, the keys to this year's holidays are anticipation, positivity and organization. Bet on a combination of online & offline, virtual experiences, quick pick-up-in-store, and especially, lots of safety measures to keep your consumers & personnel safe.

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