Get ready for El Carnaval!

by ShopperTrak on 25-02-19

Carnival in Spain takes place during the week leading up to Lent, usually around the end of February or early March, and is one of the most vibrant events in the Spanish calendar.

Each region of Spain has a slightly different take on the occasion, however there are always colourful parades, rocking parties, and busy shops. Carnival falls particularly late this year – from Thursday 28th February to Tuesday 5th March, so what does this mean for retail traffic across Spain?

Here are insights into the traffic impact of Carnival in Spain.

Spain National

Retailers can expect the largest uplifts in traffic on the day of the Carnival itself (Sunday 3rd March) and the day after (Monday 4th March). For the past four years there have been week-on-week uplifts in traffic on these days, with the past two years seeing especially large increases.

  • In 2017, week-on-week Sunday and Monday traffic increased by +4.47% and +29.31% respectively
  • In 2018, week-on-week Sunday and Monday traffic increased by +15.2% and +19.05% respectively. In addition, Tuesday traffic also increased, by +3.19%

However, Sunday will still be the quietest day overall, with Saturday seeing the most visitors, followed by Friday. Carnival week is likely to result in a drop in traffic from the previous Saturday however, being down -6.6% on average for the past four years. There isn’t any huge uplift in average traffic in the days running up to the Carnival celebrations, with uplifts in traffic generally being seen during the week itself.

  • 2016 and 2018 saw decent year-on-year uplifts in traffic on Carnival day itself. 2016 saw traffic increase +7%, and 2018 saw traffic increase +14%.
  • 2017 experienced a year-on-year decline of -0.99% however.
  • Out of the four years analysed, 2017 saw Carnival take place on the latest date.
  • 2019’s Carnival is due to fall even later than 2017’s, so there is a likelihood that a decline in year-on-year traffic can be expected.
  • However, some large week-on-week jumps in traffic, particularly on the Sunday and Monday, could be seen.


Unlike national trends where the Sunday of Carnival can expect a week-on-week uplift in traffic, this only occurred in 2018 for Madrid, with the three years prior to this seeing traffic decline.

The Monday has consistently seen an increase in traffic over the past four years however, especially in 2018 where traffic increased nearly +21%.

Last year, 2018 was one of the most positive years for the Carnival, with every day seeing uplifts in average traffic, especially on the Saturday for which traffic increased nearly +16%. In addition, the Sunday, Monday and Tuesday all experienced uplifts in WOW traffic.


2018 was a positive year for the Centro region. During Carnival week, only the Saturday saw a drop in week-on-week traffic, with all other days seeing site visitor numbers increase. This was especially seen on the Sunday and Monday, with traffic increasing by +11% and +21% respectively.

2017 was the only year out of the past four to see Sunday traffic decline week-on-week. This was only to a small extent however, at -0.11%.


Retailers in the Norte region of Spain can expect week-on-week traffic uplifts on the Sunday, Monday and Tuesday of Carnival week, with traffic increasing on these days for the past four years.

  • Sunday has been up by an average of +20%.
  • Monday up by an average of +27%.
  • Tuesday up by an average of +9%.

Similar to other regions, 2018 was a positive year for the Carnival, with average traffic being up from Friday to Monday. The uplift steadily increased on these days as the week went on, with Friday seeing traffic increase by +1.54%, while Monday saw it rise +19%.


Retailers in the Sur region can most likely expect a week-on-week uplift in traffic on the Sunday, with this being the case for the past two years.

2016 was not a great Carnival year in the Sur region, with no day of the Carnival celebration experiencing a week-on-week uplift in site visitor numbers.

Things did improve over the next two years however, with the Sunday and Monday seeing huge WOW uplifts of +55% and +59% respectively in 2017, and Sunday-Tuesday seeing uplifts in 2018 (at +57%, +8% and +10% respectively).

For the past two years there has been an uplift in average traffic on the Monday, however the extent of this has varied widely. In 2017 the uplift was +26%, but this fell to +2% in 2018. It is therefore difficult to predict what the uplift (if any) would be in 2019.

Carnival dates since 2015
2019 Thursday 28th Feb – Tuesday 5th March
2018 Thursday 8th Feb – Tuesday 13th Feb
2017 Thursday 23rd Feb – Tuesday 28th Feb
2016 Thursday 4th Feb – Tuesday 9th Feb
2015 Thursday 12th Feb – Tuesday 17th Feb


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