REI created Memorial Day hype for 600% lift in sales

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REI had a huge boost in sales from its Memorial Day promotions. (Pexels)

REI's sales dominated over its competitors over Memorial Day 2018. E-commerce analyst Edison Trends looked at data from REI and its competitors Backcountry and Moosejaw, all of which held sales over the holiday weekend, and found that REI's online sales increased 600% over their presale average for May. 

The REI sale was marketed as the company's Anniversary Sale, running 10 days from May 18-28, and both in-store and online. 

According to Hetal Pandya, cofounder at Edison Trends, REI was also actively pushing a new retail service called Personal Outfitting, which allows shoppers can book a free appointment with an REI specialist who will spend 90 minutes getting the shopper ready for big trips

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Still, Pandya believes a number of factors most likely contributed to REI's wild success over the holiday. 

"In this instance, REI’s sale seems to have been effective based on its results generating 600% more dollars spent than the non-sale period in May. The REI Memorial Day sale even performed better than the company’s holiday sales efforts throughout November and December 2017," he said. "Conversely, the Memorial Day numbers are slightly less of an increase than last year, when REI Memorial Day sales peaked between 650% to 700%.

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Pandya says that the sale also reflects a growing trend of brands to hold their largest sales of the year away from Black Friday and the holiday shopping season in order to stand out from the noise. In fact, REI was closed on Black Friday 2017. 

"REI focusing on Memorial day and getting ready for the summer makes perfect sense for their outdoor merchandise," he said. "We also recently saw Wayfair hold their own 24-hour online Way Day sale on April 25th, which saw a 400% increase in sales. Without the reliance on foot traffic, companies like Wayfair, Amazon, and eBay are experimenting with their own branded sales days as the importance of long weekend shopping events wane."