2018 Seasonal Retail Guide: Get Started Planning Your Best Year Yet

Sale sing in store window - 2018 seasonal retail planning guide

A young man carrying shopping bags looking at sale sign at an outdoor shopping mall

Now is the time to get organized and have your best retail year yet by taking advantage of the many opportunities you will have each month to help your customers enhance holidays and celebrations. Our 2018 seasonal retail guide outlines ideas for both traditional and novel occasions that consumers shop for — or use as an excuse to treat themselves. Prepping for the major yearly holidays is typical in the retail world, but giving a nod to the lesser-known holidays like Bubble Gum Day (the first Friday in February) or National Underwear Day (August 5) can add a little fun for the consumer.

By using our monthly 2018 seasonal retail guide now, you can:

  • Plan inventory levels
  • Develop a marketing plan for social media and in-store promotions
  • Install a people counter to keep track of foot traffic and measure the success of your planning


New Year’s resolutions:

Our 2018 seasonal retail guide reminds you to make a resolution: 41% of American consumers make them, so plan promotions that support goals such as weight loss, exercise equipment or smoking cessation can help drive traffic to your store.

Super Bowl deals:

This is a great time to offer consumer specials on electronics such as flat screen TVs and computers. It’s also a great time to offer specials on team apparel and décor.

Other holidays to consider for promotions:

Our 2018 seasonal retail guide also lists a few other holidays you may be able to celebrate with your customers, such as:

  • National Hat Day (1/15)
  • National Popcorn Day (1/19)


Love is this month’s theme:

Make sure your inventory supply meets the demand for Valentine candy, cards and clothing this year by planning ahead.

Holiday engagements:

Brides to be will be looking for special bargains as they plan for summer and fall weddings.

Other holidays to consider for promotions:

  • Groundhog Day (2/2)
  • National Battery Day (2/18)


Party time!

Nothing beats cabin fever like a reason to party. St Patrick’s Day and Mardi Gras are promotional themes you can’t miss.

Easter holiday:

This year it falls on April 1, so this month should be focused on Easter deals and products the consumer will be looking for.

Other holidays to consider for promotions:

  • Employee Appreciation Day (3/2)
  • Jewel Day (3/13)


Spring preparation:

Create promotional spring themes like planting, gardening, and cleaning to boost sales this month.

Tax relief: 

IRS refunds will be rolling in and customers will be in the mood to spend.

Other holidays to consider for promotions:

  • Children’s Book Day (4/2)
  • Earth Day (4/22)


Don’t forget Mom:

Cash in on this marketing opportunity by offering deals on cards, flowers and candy.


Party planning for graduates is in full gear as well as college bound students in need of supplies and furniture.

Kentucky Derby:

Help your customers get ready for the Run for the Roses with party decorations and format attire — including flower-adorned hats!

Other holidays to consider for promotions:

  • Cinco de Mayo (5/5)
  • National Wine Day (5/25)


Bring on summer:

June in our 2018 seasonal retail guide is all about being outside and you will want to push items for grilling, clothing and swimwear, parties and family vacations. Also parents may be looking for activities to keep kids busy and stave off out-of-school boredom.


Summer is the time for wedding events, so cater to those in need of gifts for the nuptials.

Father’s Day:

Tie in marketing of products like clothes, tools, and gift cards as gifts for Dad’s special day.

Other holidays to consider for promotions:

  • Video Games Day (6/8)
  • Go Fishing Day (6/18)


Independence Day:

This is the perfect time to promote merchandise for picnics, camping and fireworks!

Hot summer fun:

Swimming pools and accessories, clothing, outdoor games, and bikes are good items to promote this month.

Other holidays to consider for promotions:

  • National Bikini Day (7/5)
  • Parent’s Day (7/22)


End of Summer Sale:

Clear out your summer inventory and make room for fall.

Back to School:

Offer supplies and new clothes for the kids for this upcoming school year.

Other holidays to consider for promotions:

  • National Underwear Day (8/5)
  • Son and Daughter Day (8/11)


Fall approaches:

Changing colors and falling temperatures mean it’s time to switch gears and promote seasonal clothing lines and food selections.

Labor Day:

The last major holiday of the summer still means opportunities for travel and outdoor festivity related marketing.

Other holidays to consider for promotions:

  • Teddy Bear Day (9/9)
  • Wife Appreciation Day (9/16)


Holiday Shopping mode:

Let our 2018 seasonal retail guide remind you to plan well in advance of this time of year when consumers turn their attention to Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Breast Cancer Awareness:

Think Pink! Be a part of this special cause by offering merchandise that promotes awareness and a search for a cure.

Other holidays to consider for promotions:

  • Techies Day (10/3)
  • Boss’s Day (10/16)


Support a charity:

Consider starting a campaign that supports a local or national charity. Show appreciation for your customers by giving back. This item is appropriate for any month in our 2018 seasonal retail guide.

Tis the Season:

Have your holiday promotions in full swing by November 1.  According to the RetailMeNot Inc. 2016 Retailer Guide to Consumer Trends, 46 percent of consumers say they begin holiday shopping before this date.

Other holidays to consider for promotions:

  • Veteran’s Day (11/11)
  • Great American Smokeout (11/15) 


Winter Chill:

Cold weather apparel and snow clearing equipment will be on the minds of many shoppers, so be prepared ahead of time by having what they need on hand.

Christmas shopping:

While many consumers are out buying gifts for family and loved ones, remember to cater to the treat-yourself-shopper as well.

Other holidays to consider for promotions:

  • Poinsettia Day (12/12)
  • Winter Solstice (12/21)

Being aware of monthly marketing opportunities and proper planning is the key to a more successful and profitable year for your business. We hope this 2018 seasonal retail guide will give you ideas that will encourage shoppers to come through the door all year long.

To measure the success of your marketing and promotional efforts this year consider using people counting technology like the Gazelle thermal imaging people counter or the Eclipse video sensor to measure foot traffic.