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How Retailers Can Prepare for End-of-season Sale

End-of-season sales and shopping season events provide a lot of opportunities for retailers to maximize the use of their ESL.

These end-of-season sales and other shopping events are crucial for every retailer. This is especially true for seasonal stores and businesses that deal with end consumers and individual customers. Not participating in these sales seasons or being gravely unprepared can be a major disadvantage for businesses. You need to be prepared and well-equipped to have a successful sales period.

What are the seasonal sales?

Seasonal sales refer to promotional events in which retailers offer discounts and limited promos during specific times of the year to boost sales or clear out inventory. These sales are typically aligned with major holidays, seasons, and special events when consumer demand is predictably high. These are crucial for retailers as they can affect a brand’s performance for the entire year.


Here are some common examples of seasonal sales:


  • Holiday Sales: These refer to sales during major holiday seasons. This includes Thanksgiving (Black Friday and Cyber Monday), Christmas, New Year’s, Easter, and Halloween. During these periods, people often see significant discounts on a wide range of products as they buy gifts for the holidays.
  • Back-to-School Sales: These are promotions that take place from late summer to early fall. These usually target parents and students who are shopping for school supplies, clothing, and electronics necessary for the upcoming school year.
  • End-of-season Sales: These are shopping discounts and events on seasonal items at the end of a season. This includes winter clothing in late winter or summer gear in late summer. This helps retailers clear out inventory to make room for new season items and give their brand a boost.
  • Clearance Sales: These can occur at various times of the year, depending on when retailers need to clear out old stock. This is usually because they need to make space for new collections, create or develop new products, clear out overstock, and more.
  • Special Event Sales: Sales during events like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, and other national or cultural events also occur within the year. These special events prompt increased consumer spending and a significant boost for retailers.


These sales periods are strategically important for retailers as they help increase foot traffic, boost sales volume, strengthen their online presence, and manage inventory more effectively. Meanwhile, for consumers, these sales provide opportunities to purchase desired items at discounted prices and specific promotions.

Sales season in various countries

Every country or location has its own shopping seasons and sales events apart from the usual end-of-season sales. Consumers can expect various kinds of discounts and shopping events in these known retail peak seasons. Meanwhile, retailers can take advantage of shopping tourism, where tourists specifically travel to other countries or cities to shop. These seasons can boost sales and attract new customers to their stores.


Here are some examples of key sales seasons in various countries:


United States

  • Black Friday to Cyber Monday (Thanksgiving Weekend): This is the day after Thanksgiving in late November, followed by the subsequent Monday. There are huge discounts on a wide range of products. Some retailers also have promotions for a whole week, coinciding with the Thanksgiving holiday.
  • Back-to-School Sales: Late July to early September also means back-to-school shopping for a lot of families and students. This targets school supplies and apparel.
  • Labor Day Sales: This refers to sales in early September, with discounts on various goods, especially home and outdoor items.
  • End-of-season Sales: These are sales at the end of winter (February/March) and summer (August).
  • Holiday Sales: These are sales leading up to Christmas in December, including significant post-Christmas sales.


United Kingdom

  • Boxing Day Sales: Sales on December 26th, with major discounts similar to Black Friday in the United States.
  • January Sales: Post-Christmas discounts are running through January.
  • Summer Sales: These are typically held in July and August, with discounts on clothing and other seasonal items.
  • Back-to-School Sales: Similar back-to-school shopping in the U.S., in late summer.
  • Bank Holiday Sales: These occur during various bank holidays throughout the year.



  • Boxing Day Sales: Happens on December 26th, with significant discounts similar to the UK's Boxing Day.
  • Black Friday and Cyber Monday: Increasingly popular sales that go along with the Thanksgiving holiday and sales in the United States.
  • End-of-season Sales: These are late winter and late summer sales, focusing on seasonal items from various retailers.
  • Victoria Day Sales: This happens in late May, with the federal holiday honoring Queen Victoria. This shopping season marks the start of the summer season with discounts.



  • Boxing Day Sales: Boxing Day Sales in Australia mirror those in the UK on December 26th. It is known as a major sales event.
  • End-of-Financial-Year Sales: This happens in the month of June, with significant discounts as retailers clear inventory before the financial year ends.
  • Back-to-School Sales: For Australia, this happens around January, as the school year starts after the summer break.
  • Mid-Year Sales: Mid-year sales are popular around the months of June or July. This usually targets winter items.
  • Australia Day Sales: This happens around January 26th, with various promotions.



  • Singles' Day (11.11): This happens on November 11th as a 24-hour online shopping event. However, Singles’ Day Sales have also turned into a two-week-long event in recent years. It is known as the world's largest online shopping day, with massive discounts.
  • Chinese New Year Sales: Leading up to the Lunar New Year, retailers hold significant sales to mark the celebration. They offer discounts on various products.
  • Mid-Autumn Festival Sales: These are usually promotions around this cultural festival, typically in September or October.
  • 618 Shopping Festival: The 618 Shopping Festival in China happens on June 18th, a major sales event initiated by, one of the biggest e-commerce companies in the country. In recent years, this major shopping event has been adopted by many other retailers.



  • New Year Sales (Hatsuuri): Hatsuuri happens in early January, with significant discounts and "fukubukuro" (lucky bags). This is a popular tactic among Japanese local businesses to welcome the new year.
  • Golden Week Sales: Golden Week Sales happen from late April to early May. This shopping season coincides with several national holidays in the country.
  • Summer and Winter Sales: Summer and winter sales are two major seasonal sales in Japan. Summer sales occur in late July and August, focusing on clothing and seasonal goods. Meanwhile, winter sales occur in late December, leading up to the New Year.



  • Great Singapore Sale: This is a month-long shopping event that occurs in the months of June and July to help promote tourism in Singapore. Malls and local businesses all over Singapore participate in it, and consumers get the best deals and promotions.



  • Winter Sales (Winterschlussverkauf): German winter sales are in January, when retailers are clearing out winter merchandise.
  • Summer Sales (Sommerschlussverkauf): German summer sales are in July. Retailers clear out summer items during this shopping event.
  • Pre-Christmas Sales: These are sales leading up to Christmas, with retailers offering various promotions to customers.
  • Mid-Season Sales: Around spring and autumn, mid-season sales start in Germany. These are less prominent than the main seasonal sales, but discounts and promotions can still be expected from retailers.



  • Winter Sales (Soldes d'Hiver): Winter sales in France are typically in January and February, lasting about four to six weeks. 
  • Summer Sales (Soldes d'Été): French summer sales, on the other hand, happen in late June to early August. These last four to six weeks as well.
  • Les Soldes Flottants: These refer to biannual floating sales that can be held at different times as per retailer's discretion. They usually last for five weeks, with retailers getting the chance to clear out their inventory and overstock.


These are only a few examples of major shopping seasons in different countries. Each country's sales seasons are tailored to local consumer behavior and cultural traditions, providing opportunities for both retailers and shoppers to benefit from timely discounts and promotions.

Why are seasonal sales important for retailers?

Seasonal sales are crucial for retailers and businesses no matter where they are, or whether they combine offline or online channels or not. Specialty stores and niche retailers also rely on sales and peak seasons to make up for their low seasons. This includes outdoor retailers, sporting goods stores, holiday-themed retailers, and more.


Here are a few reasons why end-of-season sales, shopping events, and more are important for retailers:


Inventory management

Seasonal sales help retailers clear out old or excess inventory to make room for new products. This is particularly important at the end of a season when retailers need to dispose of seasonal items that may not sell well in the upcoming season.


Holding onto unsold inventory can also be costly for retailers due to storage and potential obsolescence. Seasonal sales help reduce these costs by moving products quickly.


Revenue boost

Seasonal sales and shopping events attract more customers. This leads to higher sales volumes. This surge in sales can significantly boost a retailer’s revenue during these periods. Retailers in well-known tourist destinations and spots will also see an uptick in their revenue stream during these periods.


Statista reported that in 2023, holiday retail sales in the United States were expected to reach about 957.3 billion U.S. dollars. These retail sales have dramatically increased for over two decades. Holiday sales like Black Friday also had over 100 million U.S. consumers. It’s clear that these sales are effective strategies for retailers.


Customer acquisition and retention

Promotions and discounts during seasonal sales can attract new customers who might not have had any previous transactions or engagements with the retailer. These new customers may become repeat buyers and loyal customers if they have a positive shopping experience.


Of course, offering exclusive deals to loyal customers during seasonal sales can strengthen customer relationships and encourage more repeat business.


Brand awareness and marketing

Seasonal sales are often accompanied by extensive marketing campaigns, which can increase brand visibility and awareness for retailers. This is particularly effective during high-traffic periods like Black Friday in the United States, various holiday seasons, and other major shopping events in other countries.


Seasonal promotions provide opportunities to engage with customers through various channels. This includes social media, email marketing, as well as in-store events and transactions.


Competitive advantage

Participating in seasonal sales ensures that a retailer remains competitive in the market. If competitors are offering discounts and promotions, not participating could result in lost sales and market share, as well as declining customer loyalty.


Seasonal sales enable retailers to compete on price as well. This attracts price-sensitive consumers who are looking for the best deals.


Market insights

Seasonal sales can provide valuable insights into consumer behavior and preferences. Since a lot of consumers are most likely participating in these sales, retailers can easily gather insights that will help them in the future. Retailers can analyze what products are popular, what promotions work best, and how different marketing strategies perform.


On the other hand, understanding which items sell well during seasonal sales can help retailers identify trends. With this, they can adjust their product offerings and their services or marketing efforts accordingly.


Relationship building with suppliers

During peak shopping seasons, retailers often purchase in bulk from suppliers to meet anticipated demand. This can strengthen relationships with suppliers and potentially lead to better partnership terms and discounts. Retailers can also collaborate with suppliers for co-branded promotions, which can enhance the appeal of seasonal sales.


Operational efficiency

Seasonal sales often require additional staffing, which can be an efficient way to manage the workforce during peak times. It also provides an opportunity to assess temporary staff for potential permanent positions. Retailers can also use end-of-season sales and shopping events to test new sales strategies, marketing tactics, and product placements. This would allow them to gather data that can inform future decisions.

5 Strategies to Prepare for End-of-season Sale, Shopping Events, and More

If you’re a retailer gearing up for an end-of-season sale or any upcoming holiday sales and shopping events, it’s best to be prepared. A successful sale relies on the readiness and organization of the retailer. You should be able to meet customer demands, provide an excellent customer shopping experience, and boost your sales altogether.


Here are effective strategies that will surely help retailers be ready for any upcoming sales season:


Manage inventory

It’s best to manage inventory accordingly before any sale or shopping event. Analyze historical sales data, market trends, and current consumer behavior to predict which products will be in high demand. You can also utilize tools like demand forecasting software to improve accuracy.


It’s best to stock up on bestsellers. Identify products that have historically sold well during the sales season and ensure you have sufficient stock to meet anticipated demand. This reduces the risk of stockouts and lost sales. You could also offer a diverse range of products to cater to different customer needs and preferences. This includes introducing new products that align with current trends or seasonal demands.


Plan promotions and marketing efforts in advance

Competition is going to be tough during end-of-season sales, holiday sales, or more. This means you need valuable and desirable offerings that consumers will not want to miss. Offer compelling discounts, bundles, and special deals to attract old and new customers. Reward loyal customers with early access to sales or additional discounts.


As for marketing plans, it’s best to utilize various channels, such as in-store promotions, social media, email marketing, and even online ads, to reach a broader audience. Make sure to generate excitement leading up to the sale with teasers, countdowns, and sneak peeks.


Automate operations with digital labels

Retail stores also need to automate operations when it comes to big sales and shopping events. Digital labels, or electronic shelf labels (ESL), can automate workflows in retail businesses. This can be incredibly beneficial for retail stores with limited staff, peak seasons, rush hours, and more.


Newton ESL, a digital label solution by SOLUM, can help retailers when it comes to holiday seasons. It can also be a big help for end of season sales, major shopping events, and peak seasons. It’s equipped with breakneck update speed, 7-page information capacity, 7-color LED indicator, programmable buttons, and NFC (near-field communication) capability. Features like this will help retailers automate price updates, product label assigning, in-store marketing, and more. This levels up and streamlines the retail experience for customers during sales seasons.


Offer an omnichannel retail experience

Utilizing both offline transactions and online channels is also necessary to attract customers and meet demands during peak seasons. This creates an omnichannel retail experience for customers.


Ensure your website can handle increased traffic, has a user-friendly interface, and offers a seamless checkout process to customers who are taking advantage of sales and promotions. Make sure your website is also mobile-friendly, as many customers will shop using their smartphones. Digital labels with NFC capabilities will also make mobile payments and self-checkouts possible for retailers. This will reduce wait times and checkout lines in a store.


Foster customer engagement and in-store experience

Customer engagement and the overall customer experience also matter when it comes to shopping seasons. You’ll want the audience to remember your brand and their experience with your store.


Ensure staff are well-trained to handle increased customer inquiries and provide excellent service. Optimize checkout processes to reduce wait times and enhance customer satisfaction. For online or mobile transactions, use customer data to send personalized offers and recommendations. You can also send thank-you emails, request reviews, and offer future discounts to encourage repeat business from new customers. And of course, provide excellent post-sale support to address any issues and build better customer loyalty.


Keep these strategies in mind to effectively prepare for shopping events and sales seasons. These help ensure you can meet customer demands, maximize sales, and provide a superior shopping experience for your customers.


Talk to SOLUM experts today and find out how digital labels such as SOLUM ESL can help you gear up for your end-of-season sales, holiday sales, and big shopping events.

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