Calendar 2

Key dates for your retail business in Q1 of 2024

Danielle Collard
12 Jan 2024

January offers a breather for many retail businesses following the holiday hustle in December. But in reality, it feels like you hit just as many challenges in Q1: from restocking your inventory, to navigating how the unpredictable weather is going to impact foot traffic, to increased utility bills.

To make the most of the relatively quieter period, it’s key to plan ahead and maintain your momentum from 2023. Consider incorporating the following key dates into your marketing calendar as you embark on your strategic planning for the year ahead.

January dates to keep in mind

January might seem hushed after the holiday spending frenzy, with shoppers tightening their purse strings post-Christmas. However, savvy businesses can turn the tide, transforming a seemingly quiet month into a lucrative opportunity. How? By looking at the national and international days for causes, hobbies and more.

rsz 1jan 2024 calendar

Blue Monday, 15 January

Blue Monday has been labelled “the most depressing day of the year”, which means businesses have the opportunity to brighten the day, and everybody will be looking for something to uplift spirits. Retail therapy is often a go-to in these situations!

Take advantage of those looking to brighten the mood by:

  • Running a January sale. Many retailers will be offering discounts throughout the month, with consumers out (or online) in their numbers to take advantage of the available offers, so be sure to prep some promotions to not be left behind in the rush.
  • Offering special Blue Monday products. Stock up on a line of products designed to cheer up any of your customers feeling a little blue!
  • Cheap and cheery discounts. Offer discounts or vouchers on your social media for those who share positive affirmations and stories.
  • Run a Blue Monday event. Put together an event to help your customers through the month, perhaps partnering with a mental health organisation to promote mental well-being.

While your customers might be holding onto their wallets a bit tighter, throwing in a timely promotion or a Blue Monday discount could sprinkle some cheer and make your retail spot the go-to for a dose of positivity in this post-holiday pinch. Be the bright spot they didn't know they needed!

Self-assessment tax returns, 31 January

Time is running out to get your self-assessment tax returns in! Whether you or your accountant will be taking care of your accounts, it is vitally important that you file your self-assessment tax returns by 31 January if you meet any of these criteria.

Dedicated January days

  • Get to Know Your Customers Day, 18 January - There are four Get To Know Your Customer Days throughout the year - the first in January. While it was started in the United States, many countries rally behind this initiative. Dive into the spirit with customer surveys, feedback forms, or go all-out with a meet-and-greet event. The best part - the more you know your customers, the better you can tailor your products, offerings, and events.
  • Cheese Lover's Day, 20 January (a deli’s best day) - If your business happens to sell cheese - or could add it to your inventory - 20 January is the perfect day to give this dairy favourite some focus. Perhaps try running a promotion with a cheese-themed discount code, or share some classic pairings like wine, grapes and chutney. Don’t hesitate to get creative with some funny options to get some social media attention!)🧀🍷🍇.
  • Burns Night, 25 January (Scottish) - If you’re a Scottish-based business, or share Scottish roots in your family or community, you could feature special discounts on Scottish products, traditional attire or items inspired by Robert Burns’ poetry. Or, take to social media and run a competition for customers to share their favourite Burns quote for a chance to win a special Burns Night gift basket.
  • Australia Day, 26 January - Australia Day marks the arrival of the British in Australia, but is used to celebrate the diversity and culture of the land down under. It’s an opportunity for your business to sell anything from flags to flip-flops (or thongs), or embrace the laid-back Aussie vibe and run a unique shopping experience for your customers that features Australian-themed products, whether it’s fashion, skincare or gourmet treats.
  • Veganuary and Dry January, all month - Transform your retail space and make sure your delectable plant-based options and alcohol-free delights are at eye-level to make the most of this month when many people are focusing on healthier choices! You could utilise your loyalty system here - giving extra points to customers who explore new products in the month. 

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More Q1 dates to keep in mind for your retail business

National Apprentice Week (UK), 5-11 February

Apprentices offer businesses the chance to train and integrate valuable team members and upskill future staff members, but they’re often overlooked. National Apprentice Week gives your business the opportunity to thank, appreciate, and focus on apprentices and trainee staff. It’s a chance to offer them praise, rewards, and recognition for their hard work! 

Want to go above and beyond, or don’t have any apprentices? Promote a "Support Local Talent" campaign, encouraging customers to shop during National Apprenticeship Week and contributing a percentage of sales to apprentice programs.

Super Bowl LVII (NFL), 12 February

American Football has grown its global popularity in recent years and this highlight of the season, with its notable half-time show.  You don’t need to have NFL merchandise to jump in on this trend - it’s all about special discounts on game-day essentials (think snacks and party decor). Make sure you’re on social media too, perhaps offering a Superbowl-themed gift basket, to be delivered to the day of the event.

Pancake Day / Shrove Tuesday 13 February

Flip your way into your customers’ hearts this Shove Tuesday - or Pancake Day! Encourage customers to participate with “stacks of savings” discounts (particularly on any pancake-related items), and show off staff having fun with pancake-flipping bloopers on your social media.


Valentine's Day, 14 February

As love-struck shoppers flock to find the perfect gifts (or host anti-valentines parties), Valentine’s Day is a peak moment for retail businesses. In 2022, US data showed 52% of people planned to celebrate spending an average of $192 [1].

Make sure you’ve got the classics stocked: flowers, chocolates, and any number of momentoes you can offer to personalise - these always go down well!

Start your marketing engines early, craft irresistible product lines, and launch heart-fluttering promotions to seize the spotlight during this crucial time of the year. Last year’s Epos Now data showed:

  • In the UK, a 75% year-on-year increase in spending on Valentine’s day.
  • In Australia, we saw a 87% year-on-year increase.
  • And In the USA? A huge 94% year-on-year increase! 

That’s why we highly recommend that you unlock the power of Valentine's Day for your retail business! 

LGBT+ History Month (UK), all February

The queer or gay community are a well-supported and significant portion of every customer base. Throughout February, the community reflects on the achievements and difficulties faced by the community in the past. Show your support for LGBT+ people by reflecting on your policies, spreading awareness, and staying informed on LGBT+ issues. 

Other dates to remember in February 2024:

  • World Nutella Day, 5 February
  • National Pizza Day, 9 February
  • Chinese New Year (year of the dragon), 10 February
  • Random Act of Kindness Day, 17 February
  • Love Your Pet Day, 20 February (A must-have for pet stores calendars)
  • National Chip Week, 20 - 26 February

Key dates for March:

  • St David’s Day, 1 March
  • World Book Day, 7 March (Perfect for bookstores!)

International Women’s Day, 8 March

International Women’s Day is a time to celebrate the women in your company and use the free ideas the Women’s Day website puts at your disposal.

  • Ramadan starts, 10 March
  • Mother’s Day (UK), 10 March (Flower shops and restaurants, get ready!)
  • Popcorn Lovers Day, 14 March
  • St Patrick’s Day, 17 March (A favourite for bars)
  • BAFTA’s, 18 March
  • First Day of Spring, 20 March
  • British Summer Time starts (UK), 31 March
  • Easter Sunday, 31 March

Find this blog helpful? Want to read more? Take a look at some of our other blogs!