O.K., Memorial Day isn't exactly the biggest shopping weekend of the year, but it is the most active shopping weekend from January 1st to May 31st, and that counts for something.
"Memorial Day is the biggest shopping event of the year, thus far, and consumers can cash in on significant savings on big-ticket items for the home," says Brent Shelton, online shopping expert at FatWallet. For example, summer travel deals come at a big discount for Memorial Day shoppers.
"While only 11% name Memorial Day as the best time for summer travel, the holiday signals urgency for securing summer vacation bookings," says Shelton, who calls travel packages a definite buy this month. "With 81% regularly going on vacations and 25% multiple times a year, online travel sites like Expedia, Priceline, Orbitz and Hotels.com compete to feature their best offers on airfare and hotel deals, cruise deals and car rental coupons for Memorial Day shoppers."
Some retail professionals say summer clothes are another no-brainer purchase, with plenty of discounts available, while other retail experts advise holding off on the beach shorts or a sun dress. "[With Memorial Day as] the kick-off of summer clothing retail season, some 34% of Memorial Day shoppers buy clothes and another 21% buy shoes as dozens of site-wide discounts from top retailers -- including 20% to 50% off shorts, tanks, sandals and swimwear -- swarm the best deals of the weekend.," FatWallet notes.
Kendal Perez, savings expert at the discount website CouponSherpa.com, says she's already seeing big Memorial Day sales at the following major retailers:
- The Children's Place: 50% to 60% off everything plus free shipping with any purchase.
- Lord & Taylor: 20% off sale and clearance items.
- Chico's: Up to 60% off already-reduced prices.
- Ralph Lauren: Take an extra 30% off your order.
- Old Navy: 50% off tees, tanks, swim and shorts.
"While new arrivals may only see deals of up to 40%, items on sale and clearance will see extra savings of 20% to 60% and represent best buys over Memorial Day weekend," Perez adds. "Consumers should also shop Sports Authority's liquidation sale which starts this week. Currently, shoppers can receive half-off select products and 25% off any item, with sales getting stronger as the store gets closer to closing its doors."