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

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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

January 

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)

February

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)

March

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)

April

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)

May 

Don’t forget Mom:

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

Graduations:

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)

June 

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.

Weddings:

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)

July

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)

August

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)

September

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)

October 

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)

November

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) 

December

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.

 

2018 Seasonal Library Program Planning Guide

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Library books for library program planning guideAs you strategize your library programming schedule for the year use this seasonal library program planning guide to aid your efforts. We’ve compiled a month-by-month list of a few holidays, national days and awareness months for you to consider. Once you use this library program planning guide to get organized and outline a solid schedule, don’t forget to have the means in place to measure the success of your programming efforts with technology like people counters.

By using our monthly 2018 seasonal library program planning guide you can:

  • Plan your entire year of programming for your library
  • Create a marketing and social media plan for each program
  • Finalize your requests for funding

January

National Blood Donor Month
Every two seconds in the U.S. someone needs blood. Partner with your local American Red Cross to make your library a mobile blood donation center and help the community, as well as draw patrons to your branch.

National Mentoring Month
The impacts of mentoring are far reaching. Consider making a special day where mentors and mentees can participate in special activities together at your library.

Holiday to Highlight: Martin Luther King, Jr Day

February

African American History Month
Honor the accomplishments of African Americans and their contributions to our culture from art to music to literature.

World Read Aloud Day
There is something special about hearing books read aloud. Children love story time and listening to books read aloud but it’s not just for kids. According to a report by the Audio Publishers Association twenty four percent of Americans enjoy listening to audio books.

Holiday to Highlight: Groundhog Day

March

National Women’s History Month
With so many amazing and strong women authors, leaders, civil rights advocates, athletes, scientists, doctors, philanthropists, and inventors throughout history it will be easy to devote an entire month to women.

Read Across America
Celebrated on the venerable Dr. Seuss’s birthday on March 2. This national day of reading awareness and motivation has become a favorite of children across the country.

Holiday to Highlight: St. Patrick’s Day

April

National Autism Awareness Month
Make your library an autism spectrum-friendly center for the month of April with hands-on displays, interactive stations and reading visuals.
National Library Week
Encourage the community to showcase your library, and don’t forget to show appreciation for your volunteers and staff this week as well. This year’s theme is “Libraries Lead.”

Holiday to Highlight: Arbor Day

May

National Foster Care Month
Give foster children, foster families and foster agencies extra special attention this month. Consider highlighting famous writers and people who were foster children.

Children’s Book Week
With the goal to make every child a reader, promoting this special week should be an easy win for your library.

Holiday to Highlight: Memorial Day

June

Hunger Awareness Month
Turn your library branch into a donation center to support the local food kitchens in your area.

National Selfie Day
On June 21 encourage selfies at your library and ask visitors to hashtag your branch. This is a great way to engage your volunteers, staff, and visitors through social media.

Holiday to Highlight: Flag Day

July

National Ice Cream Month
Invite patrons into your library, out of the July heat to enjoy some air conditioning and ice cream.

International Day of Friendship
The United Nations designated this day as a way to bring humanity together through friendship.

Holiday to Highlight: Fourth of July

August

American Artist Appreciation Month
Line your walls with featured American artists and invite visitors to become American artists themselves by offering workshops for painting, sculpture and drawing.

National Crayon Collection Month
Help collect school supplies for the kids headed back to school and feature fun coloring events during this month.

Holiday to Highlight: Book Lover’s Day

September

National Hispanic Heritage Month
A people rich in culture there are so many ways your library can incorporate Hispanic heritage into your programming from food to music to poetry.

National Recovery Month
Celebrate those who have overcome addiction this month. With the staggering drug epidemic putting a positive message into the community as well as bringing awareness through your programs could connect you with many of your visitors.

Holiday to Highlight: Labor Day

October

Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Think pink this month and use your library to offer breast cancer awareness education and activities this month.

National Reading Group Month
Invite book clubs to hold their meetings at your library this month and offer special benefits such as guest author speakers.

Holiday to Highlight: Halloween

November

Native American Heritage Month
Highlight your local Native American tribe in November. If you have reservations near you, invite them to participate in programming throughout the month.

National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month
Studies have shown that even late stage Alzehimer’s patients can usually read. Plus, reading is one of the leading activities that may help prevent the disease by exercising and keeping the mind active.

Holiday to Highlight: Veteran’s Day

December

Write a Friend Month
Turn your library into a writing center and celebrate the almost lost art of writing letters.

Pearl Harbor Day
Highlight World War II history and the bombing of Pearl Harbor in December.

Holiday to Highlight: Winter Solstice

Plan for Success for Your Library
Whether you are looking for new programming ideas or just need help organizing your thoughts, we hope the 2018 seasonal library program planning guide will help you have a successful year and don’t forget to measure your program success using people counting technology.