Consumer holiday spending
If you look on consumer spending throughout the year, it is easy to identify several peaks around seasonal events and holidays. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), the spring season contains Valentine's Day, Presidents Day, Easter, Mother's Day, Memorial Day, Father's Day, and Independence Day. In comparison, the fall season is home to Labor Day, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Columbus Day, Halloween, Election Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Day, and Martin Luther King Day.
The highest in-store traffic and consumer spending usually occurs during the holiday season starting November 1st until December 31st, especially on the 4-day Thanksgiving weekend plus Cyber Monday and the remaining Saturdays before Christmas. The NRF indicated that about one fifth of the annual retail sales stem from the entire holiday season occurring in November and December. In 2014, the seasonal traffic in brick-and-mortar stores peaked not on Black Friday, as most people would assume, but on the last Saturday before Christmas. Industry experts explained the fact that Black Friday didn’t continue to perform as the busiest shopping day with retailers’ stretching their deals and promotions across November and December. The shift in traffic has even gone so far that people started calling Thanksgiving Day ‘Gray Thursday’.