Throughout the calendar year, there are key consumer shopping moments that indicate when retailers can begin to buy inventory and stock their shelves with products for a specific season. While the global marketplace follows the spring and summer, and fall and winter seasons as well as universal holidays such as Valentine’s Day, Easter and Christmas, there are other occasions across the year when retail stores have the opportunity to keep their customers engaged through themes they’re searching for, developing trends, and more.
By following the retail calendar, retailers can map out their marketing strategies far in advance by being able to create visual content, plan marketing emails, and prepare their e-commerce sites or brick-and-mortar stores in time for maximum impact.
Read on to find out more about the buying calendar for retail businesses and how you can prepare your wholesale assortment planning for those key buying periods throughout the year.
After the New Year and Valentine’s Day celebrations, stores should be preparing for the arrival of their new-season inventory from their suppliers in time for spring. Beauty products, home decor and small accessories are likely to perform well with shoppers for the new season. From mid-April, buyers should consider re-orders for any sold out items or best-sellers, according to their inventory and how their products are performing.
Key dates: Women’s History Month (March), Easter (April), Earth Day (April)
Product orders for the summer should be in between the end of April and the beginning of May, depending on the lead times from suppliers, which could be anywhere from six weeks to four months. The focus here should be on seasonal items for the warm-weather months—think swimwear and resortwear for summer vacations—and occassionwear for events such as weddings and graduations.
Key dates: Mother’s Day (May), Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month (May)
In the retail business, the preparations for the festive season begin in the summer, and the months in the lead up to the Christmas period are some of the busiest of the year. Wholesale purchase orders for the holiday season start as early as late July through to October. Winter apparel such as outerwear and accessories that make great holiday gifts are key products here.
Key dates: Pride (June), Father’s Day (June), Independence Day (July)
Fall and winter
Holiday orders can continue through the fall months, with an eye on what is selling and what isn’t. But the fall is also the time to start preparing for the following year. As fashion designers present their new collections for the next season on the runways, retailers can gain insight into the developing trends and plan their inventory accordingly.
Key dates: Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday (November), Hanukkah, Christmas (December), Black History Month (February)