For the second consecutive year, Amazon.com Inc.’s annual Prime Day shopping event will be a two-day spectacle.
Analysts estimated the initiative, scheduled for Oct. 13 and 14 has the potential to break its fourth-quarter earnings record. It offers savings on products from small businesses and top brands for Prime members.
Normally, Amazon holds its Prime Day of special sales in July, but has postponed this year’s date since the pandemic began.
Last year, it raised more than $7 billion selling 175 million items, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported. That’s more than it pocketed for the previous Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.
For $12.99 a month, Prime members get free shipping, access to movies, music and 10 percent off select sale items at Whole Food Market stores. Prime boasts more than 150 million Prime members, about 50 million members since 2018, the newspaper reported.
The Seattle-based global eCommerce giant introduced Prime Day five years ago to beef up typically slow summer sales.
Jeff Wilke, CEO of Amazon's worldwide consumer business, told the WSJ Prime Day will be an opportunity for members to get their holiday shopping done early.
“It has waited long enough to see shipment times improve on non-essential items across most regions, but not so long that it’ll compete with its own early Black Friday 2020 deals,” the website wrote. “Essentially, Amazon is starting the Black Friday deals season incredibly early and will get a jumpstart on its rivals. Expect a lot of Prime Day deals counterprogramming from the likes of Walmart in the U.S., which just launched Walmart Plus to compete with Amazon Prime.”
Also last week, Walmart announced it will hire more than 20,000 people for its eCommerce fulfillment centers during the holiday period. The retailer also said that in preparation for the October start of the season, it will increase its inventory of holiday gifts to address the new normal.
“Over the past six months, our customers have been shopping differently, and we expect that will continue into the most important shopping season of the year: the holidays,” said Scott McCall, executive vice president and chief merchandising officer at Walmart U.S. “We’ve heard from our customers that many plan on starting their holiday shopping well before Black Friday, and that they’re looking for gifts that fit their current lifestyle. So, we’ve adjusted our strategy to adapt to these new shopping preferences. We’re offering more of what they want now, earlier than ever, and all at the best prices.”