SIX's Flash Sale

Equity Research Analyst

Six Flags [SIX] held their annual Flash Sale for the fourth time this past Labor Day weekend. The promotion offers incredible perks, including ~70% savings on 2019 season passes, free visits for the remainder of the 2018 season, free parking, and much more. Last year, the sale was a huge success and according to 1010data’s Credit & Debit Card Reports, the Flash Sale accounted for a quarter of SIX’s Q3 2017 sales. However, the data reveals that the sale had much less of an impact this year, only accounting for 17% of  Q3 2018 sales.

Moreover, the Flash Sale decelerated this year for the first time in the promotion’s history. Sales decreased 45% YoY and were more akin to levels seen in 2015, when the promotion first launched.

This year’s weakness was corroborated by Six Flags when they extended the sale past its usual 6 day period. 1010data picked up this extension, capturing a higher volume of sales from September 6th to September 11th of this year. However, 2018’s Flash Sale still decreased 22% on a YoY basis—even after the additional sales from those extra days.

That said, Six Flags has been gaining traction with their monthly membership program, an offering in which customers can opt to pay a month-to-month subscription for many of the same perks as the annual season pass. Memberships were also included in the Flash Sale this year and similarly sold at an over 70% discount. 1010data’s E-Receipt Data shows that the number of memberships has been on a steady uptick since January 2018, and August memberships were up 46% YoY.

Between 1010data’s Credit & Debit Card Reports and E-Receipt Data, it’s evident that Six Flags’ memberships could be adversely affecting annual pass sales. However, are memberships fully making up for struggling annual pass sales? And will there be an impact to overall revenue as more of Six Flags’ customers opt for memberships that can be more easily cancelled than the annual season pass?  

If you’re interested in monitoring how this pans out over the coming months, reach out to to assess our industry-leading datasets.