2015 Easter Holiday Promotions Analysis

by ShopperTrak Editors on 04-09-15

Now that the holiday weekend has come to a close, it’s time to examine some of the promotions that retailers ran during and before the Easter holiday.

As noted in the previous blog post, Easter weekend shifted up this year by two weeks on NRF’s retail calendar—from week 12 to week 10. Did this affect retailers’ marketing campaigns and discounting strategy?


 After this year’s Easter promotions ended, we examined publicly-available promotion data from sample retailers in five categories– department stores, home furnishings, shoes, women’s apparel, and family apparel—and how the promotions they ran leading up to Easter in 2015 compared to those in 2014. To analyze promotion trends by category, we turned to our Promotion Analytics tool, which gathers promotion data by type from more than 200 retailers. With this tool, users can perform year-over-year benchmarking analyses, and glean insights by category. (Categories are largely based on Chain Store Guide’s classifications.)

CATEGORY CHART SETUP We looked at 2014 & 2015 sample data from the above five categories during the two weeks that preceded Easter:

  •  1WBE: the week before Easter, or 2014: 4/13 – 4/19 & 2015: 3/29 – 4/4
  •  2WBE: the week two weeks before Easter, or 2014: 4/6 – 4/12 & 2015: 3/22 – 3/28

Further, the data we analyzed was divided into two categories: all promotions and storewide promotions.

  • The All Promotions category refers to all sales and discounts offered by a retailer (all item types, channels, types of promotions, etc.).
  • The Storewide Promotions category refers to offers where all items (or nearly all items) in the store are on sale — these can be most meaningful to a retailer’s bottom line
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OVERVIEW Overall, we found that promotion levels during the two weeks before Easter in 2015 were very similar to those in 2014, despite the calendar shifts. There are a couple high level takeaways, including

  • In aggregate, slight increases in the discount levels across weeks and sale types (aside from Storewide Promotions 1WBE which were flat)
  • Slight decrease (~1-3%) in the number of retailers from our sample who had promotions across the two weeks preceding Easter


INSIGHTS BY CATEGORY This year, some of the most intriguing data came in at the category level. Here are some of the highlights for the group of retailers included in our sample:

  • Shoe Retailers increased their promotion levels across both weeks in 2015 relative to 2014; however, discounts decreased over the two week period
  • Home Furnishing’s retailers also noticeably increased their discount levels across both weeks leading up to Easter
  • Department Stores however, bucked the trend and decreased promotion levels across all sales in both weeks

CONCLUSION While there are interesting shifts within the categories year-over-year, the overall discount levels for 2015 largely mirror the 2014 data. This general consistency across promotion types (all promotions and storewide) is typical, and reinforces the notion that retailers shift their promotion calendars for Easter in accordance with the calendar shift.

Read more posts by ShopperTrak Editors