Labor Day Sales Becoming The Next Black Friday

Get ready to hit the malls tomorrow. This year’s Labor Day sales could be bigger than Black Friday.

With shifting shopping habits, stores have been putting more attention on Labor Day in recent years. This could be the one that hits a tipping point, according to Forbes. This Labor Day could surpass the deep discounts typically seen on Black Friday following Thanksgiving.

FierceRetail, which tracks the retail industry, points out that a few factors have caused this shift. Probably most significant is that back-to-school sales aren’t what they used to be due to kids returning to school earlier. This means family vacations for many are still wrapping up with not enough time for that back-to-school shopping blitz. Kids are also more willing to wait to see what is popular before hitting the stores.

A mid-August survey from the National Retail Federation revealed that average families had only completed 49.9 percent of their back-to-school shopping. Nearly 24 percent hadn’t even started shopping yet. Most were holding out for deeper end-of-summer sales, and if projections are correct for tomorrow, they will have made the right call.

Labor Day sales are also becoming an ideal way for stores to clear out their summer stock with bigger discounts, so look for good sales in clothing, sporting goods, and outdoor equipment. Forever 21, Tiffany’s, and Apple are all expected to lead the way in Labor Day sales that may end up being bigger than Black Friday. Those stores are also likely to use the day to feature their new fall and winter products, although as Today pointed out, those items probably won’t get the same generous discounts until the holiday season.

Weather will be a factor for tomorrow as well. Summer weather hasn’t been ideal for retail this year. If the day is rainy or less than ideal for a trip to the beach, turnout should be high, eclipsing the back-to-school season. If patterns continue, it could shift focus from the winter sales seasons that typically have to contend with storms and bad weather that prevent shoppers from driving to stores. In other words, Labor Day might become a way to sneak in early Christmas shopping.

Online outlets are joining in on the big Labor Day sales too. According to Nextopia, discounts will average around 48 percent off clothing, movies, and accessories. Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales are generally at 42 percent. Many online retailers have already started their Labor Day sales, which will run through to September 2. Sales will also focus on end of summer products for picnics, barbecues, and other events.

Celebrating the end of summer is also leading to bigger sales for vacations, such as Caribbean cruises. However, you spend Labor Day tomorrow, whether it’s a family barbecue or trip to the beach, remember that the shopping you’ve been putting off might make for a perfect way to end the day.

[Image credit: Fox Business]