<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none;" alt="" src="https://ct.pinterest.com/v3/?event=init&amp;tid=2619889133914&amp;pd[em]=<hashed_email_address>&amp;noscript=1">

Holiday Retail 2020: Key Dates to Prepare For

Posted by Drew Melendy on Oct 8, 2020 3:59:33 PM
Drew Melendy

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to disrupt the retail industry, many businesses are preparing for the most uncertain holiday shopping season they’ve ever faced.

Big box stores and megabrands are now reporting that traditional holiday sales events won’t be limited to certain days and timeframes. Instead, they’re offering doorbusters and deep discounts spread across the coming weeks ahead. Nonetheless, shoppers continue to search for the best deals on landmark shopping holidays like Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

As you prepare for the busy days ahead, consider these dates in your sales strategies and logistics planning to get a leg up on meeting consumer expectations.

Amazon Prime Day - Tuesday & Wednesday, Oct. 13-14

Amazon Prime Day is has grown to a two-day sale and is one of the largest shopping events of the year. This year the e-commerce giant moved its’ big sale from July to October, kicking off the holiday shopping season 45 days earlier than usual. Small retailers should consider their timing, promoting their sales earlier to preempt the “Amazon Effect”.

Thanksgiving - Thursday, Nov. 26

Retail giants like Walmart, Macy’s, and Target, will be ending their customary in-store sales on Thanksgiving day and offering digital deals in its place. Some brick and mortar retailers will see this as an opportunity to open their doors to their customers. However, if you feel strongly about remaining closed on this day, you certainly won’t be alone. You can use this day to thank your customers with a special coupon instead.

Black Friday - Friday, Nov. 27

Black Friday refers to the day after Thanksgiving. Historically, it’s known as a one-day event of doorbuster deals and the beginning of the holiday shopping season. Again, many retailers are ditching the idea of limiting sales to Black Friday, but many shoppers will consider this a landmark holiday for shopping for the best deals.

Small Business Saturday - Saturday, Nov. 28

Small Business Saturday is a day dedicated to supporting small businesses and communities across the country. Founded by American Express in 2010, this day is celebrated each year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Many consumers are passionate about supporting small businesses, especially during this time of crisis. Make sure customers keep your small business in mind by promoting early and often. 

Cyber Monday - Monday, Nov. 30

Cyber Monday is observed annually on the first Monday after Thanksgiving Day. The term was coined in 2004, and since then has been used to describe one of the most popular online shopping days of the year. Consumers have come to expect the biggest digital deals to run on this day.

Super Saturday - Dec. 19

Super Saturday is the name given to the Saturday before Christmas Eve. It aims to provide one day of sales for those who have yet to purchase their Christmas gifts. For many shops, it is one of the days with the highest customer footfall and retail turnover of the year.

Holiday Delivery Deadlines

It’s crucial to let your customers know when's the last day they can make their purchase in order to ensure package delivery by December 25th. Each retailer will need to determine this date by considering their fulfillment times and their shipping providers’ holiday delivery deadlines.

Below are the 2020 holiday delivery deadlines for common shipping providers. Please keep in mind that these dates are subject to change based on demand as time goes on.


  • UPS Ground Shipping: Tuesday, December 15
  • UPS 3 Day Select: Monday, December 21
  • UPS 2nd Day Air: Tuesday, December 22
  • UPS Next Day Air: Wednesday, December 23


  • Priority & First-Class Mail: Friday, December 11
  • USPS Retail Ground: Tuesday, December 15
  • Priority Mail: Saturday, December 19
  • USPS Priority Mail Express: Wednesday, December 23


  • FedEx Ground/Home Delivery: Tuesday, December 15
  • FedEx Express Saver: Monday, December 21
  • FedEx 2Day: Tuesday, December 22
  • FedEx Overnight: Wednesday, December 23

Adapting to COVID-19 changes & challenges

With changing coronavirus regulations and supply chain disruptions, you may have to find creative ways to work around sudden changes and challenges. Offering gift cards, BOPIS or curbside pickup options, and even livestreaming virtual sales will give you large advantages and the flexibility to adapt to an unpredictable final quarter.

Topics: Marketing, Sales, Business Strategy, Shipping & Fulfillment

Woman owner of an apparel shop works her business on her laptop surrounded by clothing.