Careers Business Ownership Planning Retail Promotional Events Retail Merchandising Opportunities Share PINTEREST Email Print Vincent Besnault/ Photographer's Choice / Getty Images Business Ownership Industries Retail Small Business Restauranting Real Estate Nonprofit Organizations Landlords Import/Export Business Freelancing & Consulting Franchises Food & Beverage Event Planning eBay E-commerce Construction Operations & Success Becoming an Owner By Matthew Hudson Matthew Hudson Matthew Hudson is the author of three books on retail sales and has nearly three decades of experience in the industry. Learn about our Editorial Process Updated on 12/04/19 Have you ever shopped in a store that was dull and boring? You may not even recall the name of the shop because it was simply that uninteresting. As a retailer, you don't want your store to become one of those lackluster shopping experiences. In a recent study, I found that customers were more concerned about the experience in the store than the price! They preferred in-store shopping, but shopped online because the experience in the store was not worth the drive, A great way to avoid becoming mundane is by strategically planning promotional events for your retail store. Now, this isn't the twice-a-year markdown sale your store has when you place all the season's leftover items on a table and smack a "Reduced" sign on the front. No, what I'm referring to is a specially orchestrated promotion that can have a significant impact on product demand and sales. By planning several of these exciting events each year, you're giving customers a reason to return to the store on a regular basis. Retail Promotion Tips Choose a promotion that fits your industry, target audience, and goals. Maintain a calendar of all planned and actual promotional events and promote it through your social media channels. Don't forget to include local community events in the planning. Involve your employees. Let them create and take the lead in planning events. Try to schedule events three months in advance to create an effective promotion. Create a folder for each event to maintain records and review the final results. Increase your open-to-buy and purchase extra inventory for special events. One thing that trips retailers up is thinking they need to plan around the national holidays. While this is part of a good strategy, it is not the strategy. You need excitement and energy in your store all the time, not just when Congress decides to declare a special holiday. For example, a friend of mine started an event in his store to honor his mom and dad (the founders of the store.) Each year, he invited other retailers in town to participate, and today, it is celebrated all over the country. In fact, you may have seen signs or read about National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day. So make your own holiday and celebrate it in your store. People love to celebrate. The key here is to have a plan, a calendar of events that you publicize through your social media channels. When you put it on a calendar, you can make sure you "smooth" out the events. For example, you might see that you have one event every weekend in June and only one in July. Spread them out, so there is a rhythm. And resist the urge to do one every single week. Too much promotion can wear your customers out. Retail Promotional Calendar The following is a list of some of the major U.S., Canadian, and U.K. holidays, observances, retail trends, seasonal events, and other happenings to help plan your store's retail merchandising. Combine this information with your own marketing calendar for a powerful retail promotion tool. January Super BowlNew Year's EveNew Year's ResolutionsMartin Luther KingBack to School - Second SemesterBank Holiday (UK) February Groundhog DayMardi GrasPresident's DayValentine's DayDaytona 500February Sweeps for TelevisionBlack History Month March St. Patrick's DayPassoverEasterFirst Day of SpringMarch MadnessAcademy Awards April Baseball Opening DayGood FridayApril Fool's DayTax DayEarth DayMaster's (Golf)Prom May Cinco de MayoMother's DayVictoria Day (Canada)Memorial DaySpring Bank Holiday (UK)Kentucky DerbySeason Finales for TelevisionTeacher Appreciation Week June Father's DayFlag DayGraduation / School's OutFirst Day of SummerU.S. Open (Golf)Wimbledon (Tennis) July Canada DayIndependence DaySummer Fun August Back to SchoolTax-Free Sales EventsEnd of Summer September Labor DayNFL OpensFirst Day of Fall October Indigenous Peoples DayWorld SeriesThanksgiving Day (Canada)Red Ribbon WeekNational Boss DayNational Book MonthHalloween November Election DayVeteran's DayThanksgiving DayBlack Friday (Busiest Shopping Day)November Sweeps for TelevisionWinter Sports December First Day of WinterChristmasBoxing DayEnd of Year Declare Your Own If you still can't think of a great tie-in promotion for any of the above events, consider declaring your own holiday or event. There are many unusual celebrations such as Humorists Are Artists Month (March) and Happiness Happens Month (August). These and 12,000 other listings can be found in a copy of Chase's Calendar of Events featuring special days, weeks and months as well as holidays, historical anniversaries and festivals. Don't let a marketing opportunity pass you by.