Have you felt it yet? That little tug in the pit of your stomach that seems to be a mix of excitement and dread. You know, it’s the one that happens when you start to think about what the 2019 holiday season will bring.

I think most of us approach the end of October with a feeling of optimism, although we try to be realistic about what exactly the holiday season, in terms of sales potential, will hold for us. Having a good balance of stock, a nice calendar of customer events, and a willing sales staff is an excellent start to a good selling season.  One other helpful tool?  A list of the 2019 top busiest shopping days, to help with your planning to make 2019 one of your best selling seasons ever.

Understanding the peak days and times projected for the 2019 holiday season  can help retailers do a better job of scheduling employees, managing inventory, and even help with loss prevention management.

“The Thanksgiving Day weekend — including Black Friday, and the Saturday after Thanksgiving — will continue to be crucial span days for all U.S. retailers as they approach the holiday season,” said Bjoern Petersen, president at Sensormatic Solutions. “Our historical analysis also suggests that, because there are only three Saturdays in December leading up to Christmas this year, Boxing Day (December 26) will play a more prominent role in the U.S. It represents another major day consumers are off from work and can shop and/or return items they purchased or received.”

“With the top shopping days making up 45% of retailers’ holiday sales in the U.S., it is more important than ever for retailers to prioritize in-store customer engagement as an effective way to drive sales, customer retention and brand sentiment,” Peterson said.

Retail analysts who have been debating the “Is Black Friday” dead question for the past decade generally have concluded that it is not dead, just very different.  Shoppers will still head out to the malls and big box stores in large numbers on Black Friday because it’s a tradition for many and the thing to do on the day after Thanksgiving.

As I previously shared in a report a few weeks ago, this is expected to be a robust holiday season for spending. The annual Deloitte holiday survey predicts spending will grow by 4.5% to 5%, and top $1.1 trillion. But as the ease of online shopping continues to grow, it’s more important than ever for retailers to prepare for peak shopping days, and make sure they have the staff—and the inventory—to keep shoppers happy on those days.

According to the ShopperTrak list of the top busiest shopper traffic days for the 2019 holiday season, Black Friday (November 29), Super Saturday (December 21) and the day after Christmas (December 26) are expected to be the first, second and third busiest shopping days, respectively.

Other days singled out for heavy foot traffic, in order of importance are; December 14 (two Saturdays before Christmas), November 30 (the Saturday after Black Friday), December 22 (the last Sunday before Christmas), December 23 (the Monday before Christmas), December 28 (the Saturday after Christmas), December 27 (the Friday after Christmas), and December 7, (the first Saturday in December).

The list is based on statistics from previous years which reflect in-store traffic peak periods.  “If you compare prior years of predictions to what actually played out in the market we have a very, very high accuracy rate,” Petersen said.

Peterson predicts that traffic patterns this year should match up with 2013, another year with a late Thanksgiving, and a short holiday shopping window, with only three Saturday shopping days in December before Christmas.

Being ready for shoppers when they come to a store is important, Petersen said, because that is where two-thirds of impulse purchases occur. If a customer is relaxed and enjoying a good experience in a store that is well staffed, and provides excellent customer service, along with a great selection of stock merchandise, and well-rounded price point options, shoppers are more likely to spend more money and more time.

Interested in learning more about how you can prepare your business for the top 10 holiday shopping days of 2019, have questions about this article, or want to suggest a topic for me to cover in future blogs? I’d love to hear from you! Email me at Ann@JewelersSuite.com today!

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