How to Maximize Cannabis Sales Leading up to Christmas

December 20, 2023

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Despite a -20% decrease in total available shopping hours, the week leading up to Christmas day has shown incremental daily sales versus non-holidays weeks across all BDSA-Tracked markets for the last two annual periods. Christmas 2022 saw a +4.8% dollar sales improvement, down slightly from a +5.4% lift in 2021. Last year’s sales lift was coupled with -12% decrease in Average Retail Price when compared to non-holiday weeks, the largest discount next to 4/20.

*Source: BDSA Retail Sales Tracking, All BDSA-Tracked Markets, 2021-present

Comparing 2021 to latest year, the larger incremental dollar sales and smaller price reductions seen in the chart above suggests bigger discounts may not always lead to improved sales performance. Christmas, however, saw the greatest number of Daily Baskets per Store of any week in 2022 along with the second highest Items per Basket. With Christmas around the corner, where can we focus to maximize sales? Does deep discounting always pay off around the Christmas holiday?

Winning Sleigh Bells


From a category perspective, Edibles sees the highest sales lift. In 2022, the Edibles category experienced a +21% dollar and +31% unit sales bump unit sales bump without deeply discounting – average ARP was just 7% below non-holiday weeks. Edibles also has the largest increase of Daily Baskets per Store versus a non-holiday week at +29% and acts as a Christmas Basket Builder. 64% of Edibles baskets contained another category while only 11% purchased a single Edibles item.  Focus on promotional tactics that encourage the purchase of additional edibles items to expand baskets this holiday season.

Cannabis Market Share by Product Category
*Source: BDSA Retail Sales Tracking, All BDSA-Tracked Markets, 2021-present


While we see the greatest Holiday sales boost from Edibles, we cannot ignore Flower as it represents the highest dollar share and is found in the most baskets compared to all other categories all year.

Once again we see that steep discounting does not necessarily correlate to increased sales over the week of Christmas. In 2021, Flower saw a sales drop of -4% with an -8% price/g reduction compared to non-holiday weeks. When price/g was reduced by -16% in 2022, dollar sales remained flat to an average week. We also see however a +12% increase in daily flower baskets and an increased inclination towards having the purchase of multiple flower items in a basket. Focus on expanding flower baskets through strategic merchandising efforts and budtender recommendations.

What’s Under the Tree?

Flower remains a key basket driver over Christmas even with limited discounts. Edibles see the highest sales lift Christmas week, primarily driven by consumers expanding their baskets with additional edibles items.

Each market, of course, should be examined individually to best identify the opportunity to optimize your own sales performance. Dive into the Retail Sales Tracking Seasonality dashboard in GreenEdge to get a comprehensive understanding of what’s happening in your market during the Holidays and to help find that sweet spot on Holiday discounting. To better understand which categories, brands, and products sell best together consider leveraging BDSA’s Basket Analytics module or reach out for a demonstration on how the Basket Analytics tool can help boost sales!

Check out the latest BDSA 5-Year Market Forecast webinar to get more insights on the future of the legal cannabis industry. Request a demo to learn more about BDSA products & services.

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Tags: BDSA-Insights, Cannabis, Market Trends

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