Posted on: 08 December 2020

2021 key promotional dates to put in your calendar

2020 was a challenging year for many retail businesses as COVID-19 lockdowns effectively closed many shops on the high street through key trading periods. Meanwhile, customers turned to online retail, shopping from home putting pressure on many retailers to adapt their businesses to continue to trade throughout the pandemic.

While COVID-19 is still a threat, let’s hope that 2021 can finally bring some stability and prosperity to the retail sector. For 2021 we have identified some of the key national days, annual events, holidays and other major events that can help you promote or grow your business whether you are trading on the high street or online.

The 2021 Retail Marketing Calendar

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<p><a href="https://www.premierline.co.uk/knowledge-centre/2021-retail-calendar.html"><img src="https://www.premierline.co.uk/content/dam/premierline/knowledge-centre/2021-retail-calendar_infographic.png" alt="2021 Retail Marketing Calendar infographic by Premierline"></a><br /><br/><a href="https://www.premierline.co.uk/knowledge-centre/2021-retail-calendar.html">2021 Retail Marketing Calendar</a> by <a href="https://www.premierline.co.uk">Premierline</a></p>

The Retail Calendar Summary

Even though COVID-19 had severely impacted the UK in 2020, there is still plenty to look forward to in 2021

Take a look at some of the events in 2021 that you can use to help grow your business.

January

  • Dry January – A month long observance to help people lead a healthier lifestyle by encouraging them to give up alcohol throughout the month.
  • 1st January – New Year’s Day – The start of a new year, where we can hopefully put 2020 behind us!
  • 18 January – Blue Monday – Known as the most depressing day of the year. Customers might be ready for a bit of retail therapy.
  • 25th January – Burns Night – Celebrate the Scottish poet, Rabbie Burns, and your Scottish customers  with Scottish themed decorations.

February

  • 6th February – Six Nations – Europe’s top international rugby tournament kicks off with Italy vs France. Display your favourite team’s colours in store!
  • 7th February  – Superbowl LV – The 55th edition of the biggest sporting event in the USA. Give your store a USA theme.
  • 12th February – Chinese New Year – Celebrate your Chinese community with decorations and offers on Chinese themed products for the year of the Ox.
  • 14th February – Valentine’s Day – Promote offers on cards, chocolate and other romantic gifts on this lucrative retail event.
  • 16th February – Shrove Tuesday – Can you tempt customers into your store with free pancakes? Cafes can also add pancakes to the specials menu.

March

  • 1st March – St David’s Day – Celebrate the Patron Saint of the Wales with dragon or daffodil decorations.
  • 4th March – World Book Day – Engage with customers by talking about books, either on social media or in store.
  • 8th March – International Women’s Day – Celebrate and recognise the influential women at your business with a drinks reception.
  • 14th March – Mothering Sunday – Celebrate mothers around the UK by creating special decorations for your store and social media platforms.
  • 17th March – St Patrick’s Day – Celebrate the Patron Saint of Ireland by kitting your store or social media out with a green theme.
  • 19th March -  Comic Relief – Wear red, share jokes and encourage customers to raise money for a worthy cause.
  • 20th March – Spring Equinox – The end of Winter! Use offers to encourage customers to get outside as the weather improves.
  • 28th – Daylight Saving Time – Clocks go forward at 1am today. Remind your customers on social media.

April

  • 1st April – April Fool’s Day – Share jokes and pranks with customers either in store or on your social media.
  • 4th April – Easter Sunday – Hide Easter eggs throughout your store and maybe offer a prize for bringing it to you.
  • 6th April – New Tax Year - The new tax year starts today, and will run until midnight on 5th April 2022.
  • 7th April – World Health Day – Focus on all the things that lead to a healthier lifestyle. Encourage your customers to cut down on alcohol, quite smoking and eat healthier.
  • 21st April – Queen’s Birthday – Put on a royal display for the Queen’s actual birthday. Ask customers what they think she got on social media.
  • 23rd April – St. George’s Day – Give away English themed products, food and drinks to celebrate the Patron Saint of England

May

  • Wedding Season – Many couples prefer to wait until these warmer months to hold their wedding. Keep an eye out for any opportunities to help couples with their weddings.
  • Mental Health Awareness Month – Focus on positive mental health this month. Let your staff and customers know how important it is to look after mental health.
  • 3rd May – May Day Bank Holiday – Give your store a spring theme and promote offers that families can enjoy outdoors.
  • 4th May – Star Wars Day – May the Fourth be with you! Engage with Star Wars fans online and talk like Yoda on social media.
  • 7th May – World Password Day – Dedicate this day to your online safety, reminding your customers and staff and cyber security.
  • 18th May – Eurovision – The Eurovision Song Contest will be back in Rotterdam following the 2020 cancellation.
  • 31st May – Spring Bank Holiday – Enjoy a second bank holiday in the same month and give your customers more fantastic offers.

June

  • Festival Season – Throughout June, July and August, the large UK festivals like Glastonbury, Download and Reading and Leeds festival take place. Be prepared to offer customers the festival essentials.
  • Pride Month – Celebrate your local LGBT+ community by displaying pride flags in your windows. You could also consider sponsoring a local pride parade.
  • 4th June – National Fish & Chips Day – To celebrate one of the UK’s favourite dishes, promote offers on fish or potato products.
  • 20th – Father’s Day – Celebrate the dads of the UK by creating offers on presents for dads. Theme your shop and online platforms too.
  • 21st – Summer Solstice – The longest day of the year. Encourage your customers to make the most of the sunlight.
  • 26th June – Armed Forces Day – Support the Armed Forces with charity donations to veterans associations and theme your store and social media.
  • 27th June – Glastonbury Festival – Following the COVID-19 related cancellation in 2020, Glasto will be back for it’s 50th anniversary in 2021.
  • 28th June – Wimbledon – Offer free strawberries and cream to customers to celebrate one of the world’s most prestigious tennis competitions.

July

  • Independent retailer month – July is the month to celebrate the independent retailers in the UK. Use this to encourage customers to shop with you rather than the large chains.
  • 7th July – International Chocolate Day – Sweeten the deal for customers by offering discounts and offers on chocolate products.
  • 11th July – Euro 2020 Final – The competition postponed from last year will finish today at Wembley Stadium. Theme your store in your team’s colours.
  • 20th July – School’s Out – The school holidays will start for most schools around 20th July. Get prepared for more customers to your business.
  • 23rd July – Summer Olympics – Another event postponed last year due to COVID-19. Support your country with team colours around your store.

August

  • 6th August - Edinburgh Fringe – Providing COVID-19 is no longer a threat, Scottish businesses should benefit from the extra tourism.
  • 19th August – World Photo Day – Use social media to post images of your shop and bestselling products and ask customers to share images of the products they’ve bought from you.
  • 24th August – Paralympic Games – Support Team GB during the Paralympic games. The event was also postponed due to COVID-19.
  • 26th August – National Burger Day – Arrange a discount for burgers if you sell them. Start conversations on social media about favourite flavours and fillings.
  • 30th August – Summer Bank Holiday – Engage with customers on their Bank Holiday plans. Use offers to promote family oriented products too.

September

  • 1st September – Back to School – Promote offers on Back to School equipment to get school children ready for their new year.
  • 12th September – Great North Run – Another of the UK’s most famous running events taking place in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne.
  • 18th September – Oktoberfest – The biggest beer festival in the world starts in Munich, Germany today. Offer discounts on beer to help customers celebrate.
  • 22nd August – Decorate your store with autumn colours, such as orange and yellow, to prepare customers for the colder months.
  • 28th August – National Fitness Day – Encourage customers to get fit on National Fitness Day by promoting offers on products that they can use to exercise.

October

  • Stoptober – Visit the NHS Stoptober website to see the positive effect that stopping smoking can have on your life. Promote products that can help customers stop smoking throughout October and beyond.
  • 1st October – World Vegetarian Day – Help customers lead a healthier lifestyle with offers on vegetarian or vegan products.
  • 4th October – World Animal Day – Plan a fundraiser at your business to help raise money for charities that care for animals.
  • 31st October – Halloween – Decorate your store to celebrate Halloween and theme your social media. You could also offer discounts to those who shop in fancy dress.
  • 31st October – Clocks go back – Post on social media to remind your audience they are getting an extra hour.

November

  • Movember – Encourage staff, customers, friends and family to grow a moustache throughout November to help raise awareness and funds for men’s’ health charities.
  • 5th November – Bonfire Night – Sponsor a local display or take along free samples of your products. Use offers to help keep customers fed and warm.
  • 14th November – Remembrance Sunday – Sell poppies at your business to raise money for military charities. Theme your social media with poppies to show your support,
  • 26th November – Black Friday – Black Friday deals have been known to offer as much as 60% off. Can you give your customers massive savings?
  • 29th November – Cyber Monday – Recent years have shown that Cyber Monday has been more lucrative than Black Friday. Can your online store benefit?
  • 30th November – St. Andrew’s Day – Celebrate the Patron Saint of Scotland with Scottish flags or tartan decorations.

December

  • Christmas Party Season – In the lead up to Christmas, people will be spending money getting ready for their Christmas parties. Can you help customers by stocking up on clothes, decorations, food and drinks.
  • 5th December – Small Business Saturday – Get involved in the campaign to encourage customers to shop local in the run up to Christmas.
  • 14th December – Christmas Jumper Day – Raise money for charity on Christmas Jumper Day and share images of staff and customers on social media.
  • 21st December – Winter Solstice - Remind customers to buy products to keep themselves warm on the shortest day of the year.
  • 25th December – Christmas Day – Make sure that your customers know your opening times around the Christmas period. Wish customers a Merry Christmas on social media.
  • 26th December – Boxing Day – A great opportunity to get rid of the seasonal stock that you have left. Promote huge sales for customers.
  • 31st December – New Year’s Eve – Promote products to help customers with their new year resolutions, such as fitness, healthy eating or quitting smoking.

2022

February

  • Beijing Winter Games
  • Queen’s Platinum Jubilee

July

  • Commonwealth Games
  • UEFA Women’s Euros 2022

November

  • FIFA Men’s World Cup

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The information and tools contained in this guide are of a general informational nature and should not be relied upon as being suitable for any specific set of circumstances. We have used reasonable endeavours to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the contents but the information and tools do not constitute professional advice and must not be relied upon as such. To the extent permitted by law, we do not accept responsibility for any loss which may arise from reliance on the information or tools in our Insight Hub.