The Columbus Day Sale – a long-standing ritual for car dealers and department stores – is dead.
big picture: Retailers are moving away from big sales events in general, and are particularly eager to distance themselves from this controversial federal holiday, which falls on a Monday.
Intrigue: Over the years, states and municipalities have started renaming “Columbus Day” is celebrated as “Indigenous People’s Day” to protest the legacy of colonialism hanging on the so-called “discovery” of Christopher Columbus of America.
- The last thing retailers want is to get caught up in culture wars.
- “I think it’s an easy one they can just say, ‘Hey, I’m just going to rename the sale or cancel the sale and not worry about it,'” says Katie Thomas. , leader of the Kearney Consumer Institute, a management consulting firm think tank at Kearney.
- Plus, fewer people get a work break for Columbus Day than before, so they don’t have a long weekend to shop.
running news: Canceling or reducing big sales events will be an especially easy call this year. This season’s well-documented “Everything Shortage” means retailers don’t know exactly what inventory they’ll have in a few weeks, and thus can’t plan marketing campaigns ahead of time.
- “If you make a big deal about this weekend and say you’re going to have a lot of great products, you’re basically going to set yourself up for a stockout and disappoint a bunch of people. do,” Mark Roussett, a partner in the retail and consumer goods practice at the consulting firm Oliver Wyman, tells Nerdshala.
But even after supply chains and inventory finally stabilized, retailers would probably still be rolling back large one-week-only sales events whenever that could happen.
- “Some of those sales are just a little bit old or a relic of the past,” Thomas tells Nerdshala. “Some traditional department store sales, such as white sales, are no longer as relevant.”
What will happen next: Expect to see fewer department and big-box stores kicking off big sales for the federal holidays.
- “I wouldn’t be surprised to see Memorial Day [sales] Go ahead,” said Roussette.
- “It’s kind of an adventure — I don’t know if I’d bet the farm on that — but I think people, you know, see the benefits of simplification.”