Will Memorial Day set a good pace for summer sales? | Sheila Long O’Mara

Welcome to Memorial Day.

In addition to being the day the U.S. remembers its military men and women who died in service, Memorial Day, with its unofficial start to summer, has become one of the bedding industry’s four major promotions. Presidents Day, Labor Day and Black Friday round out the rest of them. If you’re feeling generous, toss in Independence Day for a fifth promotional holiday.

As the industry continues to struggle to capture the consumer’s attention, following the go-go-go days of the pandemic, the promotional holidays have become more and more important to the retail calendar. Those in the know argue that to entice consumers through the door or onto the website to buy advertising and promoting are must-dos these days.

Most industry insiders agree that we’ve settled back into the traditional up-and-down cadence for selling that revolves around the keystone holidays. There are peaks and valleys; sometimes those valleys are extraordinarily deep while the peaks feel like small blips these days. Those blips are increasingly important in these challenging times.

And, for some in the industry, this particular selling period — revolving around Memorial Day — is characterized as make or break for the year. If Memorial Day sales are great, so will be the rest of the year. If it’s a bust, well, hold on to your hats because we could be in for a bouncy ride. No one will argue that the summer months lean toward the slower side for the industry, and bankrolling those sales for the slower period offers a bit of security.

Maybe that explains the promotion creep. No longer are holiday weekend sales a three- or four-day event; instead, retail — and not just mattress sellers — start hyping several weeks in advance. We saw it last fall with the build up to Black Friday, as consumers started shopping early, so too did retailers looking to capture their share of the gift-giving budget. Black Friday and Cyber Monday discounts spanned what felt like the entire month of November.

Gone are the frantic campout-in-front-of-Best-Buy-to-get-those-doorbuster deals. Instead of a shortened sales flood, we see a longer sales trickle. It likely tallies up to be about the same sales volume, but it doesn’t quite feel like that big infusion of business crammed into a few days.

My inbox, social media feeds and web surfing have been filled with ads from mattress retailers and brands touting their Memorial Day specials for weeks now. Ads from online brands have been popping up pitching discounts and specials, and the drumbeat leading into the weekend got stronger and louder.

I’ll be curious to see what happens to the pitching this week as we round out the sales period.

I’m hopeful the lead up to Memorial Day, the weekend of and the extended week after brought a boost to your sales figures. I liken it to squirrels in the fall. Stock up on those rations now because winter is coming, and we’ll need the nourishment (past sales) to make it through the slower times.

Drop me a line and let me know how your holiday event was. I want to know what worked … and maybe what didn’t.

See also: Retailers hope for first half flourish during Memorial Day sales

The post Will Memorial Day set a good pace for summer sales? | Sheila Long O’Mara appeared first on Furniture Today.