The Summer Sales season in Europe brings a sense of great opportunity for locals and tourists alike. It’s the ideal time for price-conscious shoppers to scour stores for discounted clothes, accessories and homewares that might otherwise be out of reach for their budgets.
Retailers love sales too, as department stores, boutiques, designer outlets, and even hardware shops clear out items from the previous season, gradually slashing prices over the course of the sales period. They’re able to clear stock AND attract high levels of footfall.
At this frenetic time of year, teams need to keep the shop floor tidy and retain service levels to ensure customers get the best shopping experience.
Knowledge of when footfall peaks will help stores schedule labour and operations in line with expected demand.
What will be the traffic impact during the Summer Sales of 2019?
Germany Summer Sales traffic 2019
This year the sales kick off on Monday 29th July in Germany. Summer sales traffic trends in Germany depend on when the two-week sales period begins. Sales start on the last Monday in July, so when this falls earlier in the month (as it did in 2015 and 2016), the first Saturday in the two-week period tends to be the busiest day of the sales period. When the last Monday of July falls later in the month (as it did in 2017 and 2018), the second Saturday of the sales period has been the busier day.
- Based on previous trends, 10th August will potentially be the busiest day of the sales period in 2019.
Italy Summer Sales traffic 2019
In Italy the summer and winter sales are sometimes preceded by a sales blackout. But once the sales start they can go on for as long as 60 days. The exact dates of the sale are decided by the local government, so varies across the country.
Our data confirms the first full weekend of July is the busiest weekend of the summer sales period in Italy. Based on previous trends, we predict 6th/7th July will be the busy weekend this year. Historic traffic data shows that momentum continues throughout the next month or so until Assumption Day on 15th August, after which traffic tapers off. In 2018, the Saturday of the first full weekend on July saw traffic increase +9% above average, and the Sunday by +5%. This was a slight decrease from 2017 when both days were up 11% against the average.
- Italy’s busiest summer sales days will be 6th and 7th
UK Summer Sales traffic 2019
There is no fixed date for retailers to kick off sales in the UK, which means there’s no clearly defined pattern in summer sales footfall. Our data shows though, that the last week of July does tend to see traffic pick up, with stores busier as soon as schools break up for the summer. Traffic starts to increase on the penultimate Friday of the month, with weekday traffic being up against the average for the past four years. Weekend traffic tends to be slightly lower than average however.
- As the penultimate July Friday falls quite early in 2019 (19th July), 26th July is likely to be the busiest day in stores.
France Summer Sales traffic 2019
Summer 2019 sales begin on Wednesday June 26th in France and end on Tuesday August 6th. Stores are hopeful the disruptive ‘yellow vest’ demonstrations will have come to an end by this time. Looking at the past four years, there is a clear uplift in traffic from the very beginning of the summer sales period, with momentum continuing for the first couple of weeks at least. The first four days of the sales have historically seen large uplifts against average traffic. The Wednesday (first day of sales) was up by an average of +35.5% in 2015, 2016 and 2018 (it was up +55% in 2017). Thursday has been up +28% over the past four years, Friday +21%, and Saturday +14%.
- We predict that in France, June 26th, 27th, 28th and 29th will be the busiest days of this lively sales period.
Spain Summer Sales Traffic 2019
There is a clear uplift in traffic at the beginning of July, when the sales period begins, with week-on-week traffic on 1st July being up +54% on average over the past four years. The biggest increase was seen in 2018, when 1st July fell on a Sunday (WOW traffic up +66%)
Looking at average traffic, larger increases can be expected if 1st July falls on a weekday or a Sunday. 2015 saw the largest average uplift (+36%) when it fell on a Wednesday, but average traffic was only up +8.5% in 2017 when 1st July fell on a Saturday.
- The busiest summer sales days in Spain will be the weekend of 6th and 7th
Portugal Summer Sales Traffic 2019
The first Saturday of July is when summer sales traffic really picks up in Portugal. This was slightly different in 2018 as 1st July fell on a Sunday, so traffic picked up on this day instead.
Momentum continues throughout much of August. Our data shows that the earlier in the month the first Saturday falls, the more likely it is there will be an uplift. In 2015, the first Saturday was on 4th July, resulting in traffic being down -4% against the average. In 2016 and 2017 however, traffic was up +4% and +9% respectively, as the Saturday fell closer to 1st July. A similar trend is seen in 2018; 1st July fell on a Sunday resulting in traffic being up +10% against the average. With the first Saturday not being until 7th July however, traffic was down -7% against the average.
- 1st July falls on a Monday in 2019, with the first weekend falling on 6/7th It’s likely that the first weekend will see a large uplift in traffic.
Poland Summer Sales Traffic 2019
Sales momentum in Poland picks up at the very end of June, with the final Friday and Saturday in June usually being the busiest. The Friday usually sees a decent increase against average traffic, with the increase being larger the closer it falls to the end of the month. In 2015 the final Friday saw traffic increase +11% against the average when it fell on 26th June, but in 2018 when it fell on 22nd June, traffic was up only +5%. 2018 saw the Sunday trading ban come into effect. While the beginning of the sales period was unaffected due to when stores are allowed to open on Sundays, the impact will become more apparent in 2019. Thankfully, the final Sunday of June in 2019 will see stores open, but they will then be shut for the three weeks following this – which will impact retailers’ performance.
- In Poland the weekend of 28th and 29th of June are likely to be the busiest for summer sale shopping.
Ireland Summer Sales Traffic 2019
There is no clear ‘kick off’ to the summer sales in Ireland. Thursdays to Saturdays tend to be the busiest days in Ireland. Traffic picks up somewhat towards the last weekend of July but falls again the following weekend ahead of the August bank holiday. The last Thursday of the month sees a large uplift against average traffic – up +9% on average over the past four years. Fridays have been up +6% on average. Week-on-week there is little change, with Thursdays being up +1.5% on average over the past two years.
It’s likely that Irish retailers can expect traffic to start picking up from 25th July this year, making 25th, 26th and 27th of July the most traffic-heavy in stores.