Popular holidays such as Halloween, Valentine's Day, and Easter attract lots of attention and billions in consumer spending every year. But deal hunters should circle some different holidays on their 2019 calendars. These 10 days stand out for featuring some of the best sales and promotions of the year.
PRESIDENTS' DAY (FEB. 18)
The third Monday in February is officially designated Washington's Birthday, but department stores advertise big Presidents' Day sales over the three-day weekend. Shoppers typically find deals on everything from winter clothes to towels and bedding. Data from Shop It To Me show that online bargains on clothing in past years have surpassed any other holiday, with an average discount of 47 percent off.
MOTHER'S DAY (MAY 12)
A National Retail Federation survey estimated consumer spending around Mother's Day, the second Sunday in May, at more than $23 billion in 2018, trailing only the winter holidays and back-to-school shopping. Many sales still focus on kitchenware such as appliances and cookware. Keep an eye out for deals on these items even if you're buying for someone besides Mom, such as a high school or college graduate (or yourself!).
MEMORIAL DAY (MAY 27)
With graduations and wedding season ahead, discounts on cookware and appliances continue to lure shoppers in May. Memorial Day sales bring in 80 percent of U.S. adults, who plan to spend more than $480 over the holiday weekend — mainly in apparel, department, and electronic stores, Vistar Media and mobile research firm MFour found in a 1,000-person survey looking at 2018 trends.
FATHER'S DAY (JUNE 16)
Father's Day attracts less spending than Mother's Day, with an estimated total of about $153 billion in 2018, according to the NRF. Not surprisingly, promotions center on clothing (socks and ties are the usual suspects), as well as sporting goods and outdoor items. Don't be too quick to jump on seasonal items around Father's Day, though. Grills, for instance, won't see their lowest prices until the end of the summer.
INDEPENDENCE DAY (JULY 4)
On this holiday, most people are thinking about spending their dollars on food and entertainment, to the tune of close to $7 billion, according to the NRF. For shoppers in the market for a bigger purchase than foodstuffs and fireworks, mattresses typically go on sale for the Fourth of July — just like they do on Memorial Day and Labor Day.
LABOR DAY (SEPT. 2)
Labor Day sales kick off early in September, and they've been known to include discounts that rival Black Friday sales — because, Money magazine explains, Labor Day sales draw the remnants of the back-to-school shopping crowd and clear the shelves for holiday shopping. This is the tail end of a period charted not long ago by the NRF as being worth about $68 billion to retailers, second only to the winter holidays. Even consumers who don't have kids can look for deals on items such as denim and office supplies.
COLUMBUS DAY (OCT. 14)
This holiday doesn't get as much notice or see as much spending as some of the others, especially with conversion in some areas to an Indigenous Peoples' Day, but many stores mark down certain types of items. This may be the best time to pick up shoes and accessories, as well as camping gearand anything that can be of use next summer, including air conditioners, grills, and lawn mowers. Other items, such as most electronics, will be more deeply discounted next month.
BLACK FRIDAY (NOV. 29)
This past holiday season, spending reached $688 billion, and that was expected to rise this season to $721 billion, the NRF says. That's an average $1,007 per consumer over the holiday season this year, up 4.1 percent. There's no doubt that for certain items such as TVs and other electronics, Black Friday is the time to buy. There are also good discounts on cookware, beverages such as tea and wine, and even cars.
CYBER MONDAY (DEC. 2)
This is the holiday when consumers are supposed to take advantage of shopping at work or at home in pajamas on the Monday after Thanksgiving — yet more and more retailers are blurring the one-day concept to become a Cyber Week. The top-selling items are typically trendy toys and sought-after electronics for Christmas, as well as luxury brands looking to stand out from the big names and mass merchandise of Black Friday. This past Cyber Monday, sales jumped more than 19 percent from last year to about $7.9 billion, according to data from Adobe.
BOXING DAY (DEC. 26)
While this holiday's name may not have the same clout in the U.S. as it does in other countries such as the U.K. and Canada, the day after Christmas brings big sales online and in stores — in fact, as recently as 2015, American Express found the number of shoppers outranked those shopping on Black Friday, 66 percent compared with 45 percent. That appears to no longer be true, with Black Friday appearing to outdo Boxing Day starting with 2017; but post-Christmas is still a good time to shop for the unsold gifts, holiday trappings, and winter items retailers put on clearance.