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Please note: We've updated our retail calendar for 2018, get all your key dates for this year here

The calendar from year to year doesn’t really change much, but we’ve discovered a lot more retail focused events both in the UK and US which might be of interest to our readers. January has flown by and we're already into February but there's still 11 months of 2016 to go. From planning around international holidays in the calendar, like Valentine’s Day which is coming up soon, to attending tradeshows to meet new suppliers and customers, there are plenty of key dates to consider as a retailer in 2016.

Running a retail business isn't just about doing admin and being stuck in the back office. Sometimes it's good to get out there and see what's happening in the retail industry by going to tradeshows - make friends with your peers, shop around for new exciting products, and discover new software that can make your operation more successful.

Throughout the year there are many ways retailers can maximize their efforts, some decide to rally around a campaign related to a date in the calendar. And, of course, success requires time to prepare.

Know key dates and seasons. Look at your sales and traffic spikes in-store and on your website. Are there any common trends or themes year on year? Make sure you know those dates that impact your retail sales, and plan strategically to optimize and drive even more traffic around those days. Google Analytics is your friend when it comes to learning about the traffic to your website.

For many retailers certain holidays like Christmas draw shoppers well before the actual holiday date. Retailers that don’t plan promotions and marketing campaigns and inventory far enough in advance miss out. Whether it’s Valentine's Day or Mother’s Day, the trick is to know when people start shopping for gifts so you can be in the forefront of their minds, so make sure you get to know your shoppers.

If you’re using software like Brightpearl, which tracks both online and offline sales all in one place, you can analyse your customer behavioural patterns alongside your margin reports and use the information to your advantage. Think about how much you can discount on products that are well suited for that key holiday or event, or which you want to to sell quickly. You can then begin to build out your special promotional offers for your website, in-store and any remarketing efforts. Shoppers love a bargain!

Retailers who prepare on all fronts from sourcing great new products and making key promotional offers, to inventory and logistic management, are the ones who will be able to offer a great service and keep customers coming back for more. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to increase your sales because you’ve not thought far enough ahead!

To help you we’ve compiled a calendar of the key dates in retail for you to print off and keep on your wall for 2016.

The 2016 Retail Calendar for print

 

January
1st - New Year’s Day, Bank Holiday
17th-19th Retail’s Big Show (US)
18th - Martin Luther King Day (US)
25th - Burns Night (UK)
27th - 31st SIA Snow Show (US)
30th - 2nd NY Now (US)

February
7th-11th - Spring Fair (UK)
8th-9th - Prosper Show (US)
10th - New York Fashion Week
14th - Valentine's day
14th-16th - Pure London (UK)
15th - 17th - Moda (UK)
16th -18th - Magic (US)
17th - Online Retail Conferences (UK)
19th - London Fashion Week
28th - 2nd - ASD (US)

Other dates to note:
2nd - Groundhog Day (US)
4th-8th - Atlanta Apparel (US)
5th - National Wear Red Day (US)
6th - 19th - 6 Nations (UK)
7th - Super Bowl (US)
8th - Chinese New Year (US)
9th - Mardi Gras Carnival (US)
13th-16th - NY Toy (US)
15th - President’s Day (US)
24th - Milan Fashion Week
Also, ‘Winter Break’ is one week in February, usually at or around President's Day, or in March (depending on the region).

March
2nd - Paris Fashion Week
2nd-3rd - DX3 (Canada)
4th-9th - International Housewares (US)
6th - Mother’s Day (UK)
9th-10th - RBTE (UK)
16th-17th - Retail Week Live (UK)
22nd-23rd - PATS (UK)
25th - Good Friday, Bank Holiday
27th - Easter Sunday
28th - Easter Monday, Bank Holiday

Other dates to note:
1st - St. David’s Day (UK)
4th - Employee Appreciation Day (US)
17th - St. Patrick’s Day (UK)
20th - Palm Sunday
22nd-23rd - Unite (US)

April
1st - April Fool’s Day
15th - Tax Day (US)
18th - Patriots day (US)
20th - 22nd - Magento Imagine (US)
22nd - Earth Day (US)
23rd - Lazarus Saturday
23rd - St. George’s Day (UK)
26th-28th - NG Retail (Germany)
27th-28th - Internet Retailing Expo (US)

Other dates to note:
28th - Take our Daughters / Sons to Work Day (US)
‘Spring Break’ usually lasts for one or two weeks in March or April, often starting on Lazarus Saturday.

May
1st - May Day Bank Holiday (UK)
5th - Cinco de Mayo (US)
8th - Mother’s Day (US, Canada & Australia)
10th-11th - Retail Innovations Conference (US)
11th-12th - The British Business Show (UK)
21st - FA Cup Final (UK)
30th - Memorial Day Weekend (US)
30th - Spring Bank Holiday (UK)

June
7th-10th - Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition (US)
6th - FA Cup Final (UK)
19th - Father’s Day (US & UK)
20th - Summer Solstice
20th-21st - Magento Live (UK)
20th - Summer begins - NOTE: summer breaks for schools begin around this date
22nd-24th - Retail Executive Summit (US)
27th - 10th Wimbledon (UK)
28th - The Retail Conference (UK)

July
Independent retailer month
4th - Independence Day (US)
12th-19th - Home & Gift (US)
17th-20th - Home & Gift (UK)
24th-26th - Pure London (UK)

August
Back to school (US, UK)
6-10th - Atlanta Apparel (US)
7-9th - Moda (UK)
29th - August Bank Holiday

September
Back to school (US & UK)
5th - Labor Day (US)
7th-8th - Outdoor Trade Show (UK)
11th - Grandparent’s Day
11th-13th - Top Drawer (UK)
12th-14th - Glee (UK)
21st-23rd - Gift & Home (US)
28th-29th - eCommerce Expo (UK)

October
10th - Canadian Thanksgiving
10th - Columbus Day (US)
17th - Boss’s Day (US)
21st-23rd - The Baby Show (UK)
31st - Halloween

November
5th - Bonfire Night (UK)
8th - Election Day (US)
11th - Veterans’ Day (US)
11th - Single’s Day (China)
24th - Thanksgiving
25th - Black Friday
26th - Small Business Saturday (US)
28th - Cyber Monday

December

5th - Manic Monday
12th - Green Monday
18th - Free Shipping Day
24th - Christmas Eve, Super Saturday
25th - Christmas Day
26th - Boxing day
27th - Bank Holiday, Christmas Day substitute
31st - New Years Eve

Other dates to note:
25th - Jan 1 - Chanukah / Hanukkah
26th - Jan. 1 - Kwanzaa

 

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE RETAIL CALENDAR HERE

 

Why not even try doing some promotions around some of the ‘fun holiday dates’ too. From ‘I want to be happy’ day to ‘Macaroon’ day there might be a holiday you can get behind and own in your industry. If we’ve missed any dates or events which you plan for then please let us know in the comments below.

Happy Retailing!

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About the Author

Grainne is the Head of Campaigns at Brightpearl and leads the execution of Brightpearl's global campaign strategy. Having worked in the retail tech space for five years, learning more about how technology can help retailers grow is a huge topic of interest.