Popular holidays such as Halloween, Valentine's Day, and Easter attract lots of attention and billions in consumer spending every year, according to the National Retail Federation. But deal hunters will be circling some different holidays on their 2016 calendars. These 10 days stand out for featuring some of the best sales and promotions of the year.
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.
An NRF survey estimated consumer spending around Mother's Day, the second Sunday in May, at more than $21 billion in 2015, 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!).
With graduations and wedding season ahead, discounts on cookware and appliances continue to lure shoppers in May. Memorial Day sales led to a 73 percent increase in store traffic and a 59 percent increase in sales over a regular non-holiday Monday, according to a survey of 2013 shopping patterns by RetailNext.
Father's Day attracts less spending than Mother's Day, with an estimated total of about $12.5 billion in 2015, 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.
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 sales kick off early in September, and they've been known to include discounts that rival Black Friday sales, according to Money magazine. This deal extravaganza occurs because 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 worth about $68 billion to retailers in 2015, second only to the winter holidays, according to the NRF. Even consumers who don't have kids can look for deals on items such as denim and office supplies.
This holiday doesn't get as much notice or see as much spending as some of the others, 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 gear and 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.
This past holiday season, spending reached $630.5 billion, and consumers spent an average of more than $250 each on Black Friday, the NRF data show. There's no doubt that for certain items such as TVs and other electronics, Black Friday is the time to buy. Cheapism.com also found superlative discounts on cookware, beverages such as tea and wine, and even cars.
This is the holiday when consumers take advantage of shopping at work or at home in pajamas on the Monday after Thanksgiving. The top-selling items on Cyber Monday 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 hit a record of about $3 billion, according to data from Adobe.
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. Research by American Express found that the number of people expected to shop on Dec. 26, 2015, outranked the number of people shopping on Black Friday -- 66 percent compared with 45 percent. Survey respondents planned to spend an average of $186 on the day after Christmas as retailers put unsold gifts, holiday trappings, and winter items on clearance.