Should consumers sail into Columbus Day sales?
July brought Prime Day, August ushered in back-to-school sales, and September opened with Labor Day discounts.
And now, just when you thought your wallet had reached a safe harbor, Columbus Day is coming.
In some ways, Monday’s holiday might be a hidden treasure.
Columbus Day sales traditionally have been a way for retailers to clear out late summer merchandise to bring in the winter holiday selection, says Ray Wimer, a professor of retail practice at Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management in New York.
Now Columbus Day, which falls on the second Monday in October, is being engulfed by the larger holiday shopping season, and holiday merchandise may already be on shelves. Blame Black Friday creep. “You don’t necessarily see somebody waiting for the Columbus Day sale,” Wimer says.
A sizable number of shoppers — 35.5% — plan to start shopping for holiday gifts before Thanksgiving, according to the 2017 U.S. Holiday Shopping Forecast from CPC Strategy, a digital marketing agency.
It’s not surprising any lingering summer items will be on discount over Columbus Day weekend. Wimer says specialty clothing stores will likely try to capture shoppers as they clear out existing styles and bring in late fall and winter inventory. Other products will be on sale, too. Columbus Day weekend 2016 delivered up to 40% off major appliances at Sears, an extra 25% off at designer brand Kate Spade, 35% off an entire purchase at Gap and as much as 50% off mattresses at Sleepy’s. Expect similar savings this year.
If you prefer to skip the crush of shoppers who show up at stores on Thanksgiving, then Columbus Day sales come just in time. Products will be more readily available, and you’ll avoid Black Friday tramplings.
But if you shop Black Friday for the experience and handful of budget-stretching doorbuster deals, you might prefer to hold off the October sales in anticipation of what’s to come.