9 Businesses That Depend On The Holiday Rush

Monday, December 19, 2011 at 4:19am by Site Administrator

For the majority of people, the holiday rush is an extreme annoyance. Stores are crowded, shoppers are frantic, and you can’t turn left out of a parking lot to save your life. Many of America’s businesses, though, look to the holiday season to make up for losses during the year or just push them farther into the black. Of course, major retailers make some serious money as consumers clear their shelves, but these businesses in particular are extra merry after the holiday rush.

  1. Professional photographers

    As everyone is preparing their Christmas card photos to make their bratty kids seem like little angels to distant relatives, professional photographers, either with their own businesses or with department stores, can really rake in the cash. Weddings may bring in bigger chunks of money throughout the year, but the holidays bring a bigger quantity. There’s also the chance to photograph holiday events and parties or even pictures with Santa.

  2. Airlines

    If you’ve ever seen Home Alone, you know how crowded and crazy airports are during the holidays. Everyone is trying to get home to their families for Christmas and that means lots of packed flights. Not only do the airlines sell more tickets during this season, but they also raise the prices so they are maximizing their profits. With so many airlines facing money problems or declaring bankruptcy, the Thanksgiving and Christmas rush will be a boon to their budgetary deficits.

  3. Hallmark and other greeting card companies

    You might hear people argue that holidays were created by greeting card companies just so they could make a tidy profit. This might be true for some minor holidays and events (let’s consider that Hallmark recently made a "sorry you lost your job" card), but the December holiday season was already a built-in profit-maker for card companies. Though sales are consistent throughout the rest of the year, business spikes as Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa cards fly off the shelves, and people buy gifts and ornaments while they’re in the store.

  4. Fireworks retailers

    Fireworks are really only sold twice a year — for Fourth of July and New Year’s — so the holidays are crucial for a fireworks retailer to break even. Fireworks stores and stands light up the areas outside of city limits across the country a couple weeks before each holiday and do big business with party-throwers, cities, and teenage boys. Firecrackers and fireworks can be ordered during the rest of the year for special events, but if it weren’t for the holidays, none of these retailers would make any profit.

  5. Credit card companies

    Spending with credit cards has decreased in recent years, but it’s picked back up again with the holidays in sight. Credit card companies and banks aren’t letting the opportunity pass, offering extra benefits and incentives to get people to use plastic rather than cash. Many give discounts at certain retailers just during the holiday season, knowing that spending will be at a high for the year and that those dollars will push their profits up.

  6. Liquor stores

    Because there are plenty among us who enjoy a good glass of wine or a beer every now and then, liquor stores aren’t in any danger of shutting down, but the holiday season definitely contributes to the year’s profits for alcohol retailers. Liquor sales tend to peak the day before Thanksgiving (as people realize they’re going to have to deal with their crazy families again) and continue selling in high amounts throughout the holidays. In some states, the profit made between Thanksgiving and New Year’s is more than that made during the rest of the entire year.

  7. Package delivery services

    For people kind enough to send gifts to faraway friends and relatives (but not kind enough to actually go visit), delivery companies are a lifesaver. Sure, you have to make sure you plan ahead so it’ll arrive by Christmas and stand in a line at the UPS or FedEx office, but in the end, you’ll spread holiday joy without having to spend time with your family. This idea means lots of money changing hands at package delivery companies. Online purchases also contribute to the busy season, as 47% of consumers say they buy something online during the holidays. UPS alone says it ships more than 430 million packages during the short time frame.

  8. Online stores

    Christmas shopping is just one of the thousands of things that the Internet made easier. You don’t even have to face the throngs of crazed shoppers at the mall to get exactly what your family wants. Online retailers start preparing for the holiday season in July if they’re smart, because the glut of orders at the end of the year would make it impossible to catch up without serious planning. Many small, online-only businesses especially feel the benefits of the holiday rush. Etsy shops, for example, where many crafters and independent business owners sell items, see an increase in sales of 60% each year during the holidays.

  9. Nonprofits

    OK, nonprofits aren’t exactly what you would consider a business, but they do need to at least break even so they can continue their charitable work. The holidays bring out a fascinating spirit of giving in people who are pretty cheap and stingy the rest of the year, and many businesses provide avenues for people to contribute to nonprofits easily. Certain stores and websites donate a portion of the gifts you buy to a specific nonprofit, some people make donations in others’ names as a present, and many nonprofits launch campaigns to bring in extra earnings at the end of the year.

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