First, Labor Day was “late”; that is, on September 7 instead of the 2nd or 3rd.
- That meant that the Back to School shopping that often occurs in August was pushed into September.
- Plus, it was delayed even further by today’s shoppers, who seem to prefer “grazing” – our name for the tendency to shop closer to need – instead of concentrated shopping trips.
Next, looking ahead: Thanksgiving this year is also a little "late", on November 26. And, Christmas is on a Friday.
Why does this matter? Because Christmas Eve is just four weeks after Thanksgiving!
- This means the fewest number of weekends - three! - between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
- But, with Christmas Day on a Friday, that allows 2 full weekend days for those after-Christmas sales and returns.
Who Will Be Impacted?Which retailers might be affected the most by these calendar-based realities? Online merchants!
- It’s very likely that in a time crunch, customers will choose to do more of their shopping online, which puts increasing pressures on online merchants to meet delivery-by-Christmas schedules.
- And this is happening as some of these larger retailers are facing difficulties finding seasonal workers for their warehouses.
- Turns out that with employment rising, there simply aren’t as many folks willing to accept the demands of a warehouse job on just a short-term, seasonal basis. Hmm. Christmas shopper beware!
Meanwhile, even if your retail operation is more bricks-n-mortar than online, this calendar crunch still may affect you. Here’s how.
- Seasoned retailers have observed that in-store shopping surges as each delivery-guaranteed-by-Christmas order date deadline is passed.
- Make sure you know what those key deadlines are. Be prepared to reap the most benefit. Be proactive in scheduling your staff in anticipation!
All in all, the rest of 2015 promises to be pretty hectic!