- Amazon is delaying its annual Prime Day shopping event, typically held in July, until at least August, according to Reuters.
- Amazon also expects to take a $US100 million hit as a result of extra inventory it must sell at a discount, Reuters reported, citing notes from an internal meeting.
- Prime Day is a massive sales event in which Amazon offers discounts on everything from TVs to sneakers. Amazon said it sold nearly 200 million items during the 48-hour period that comprised Prime Day last year.
- The coronavirus has put a strain on Amazon’s supply chain and other operations, as it scrambles to prioritise the shipment of “essential” items during the pandemic. Moving forward with Prime Day in July would have been a massive, and risky, undertaking.
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Amazon is delaying Prime Day, its annual shopping extravaganza, until at least August, as the online retail giant scrambles to adjust its operations to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a Reuters report on Friday.
Amazon typically holds the event every July.
The company expects to possibly take a $US100 million hit as a result of extra devices it may have to sell at a discount, the report also said, citing notes of an internal meeting.
Amazon Prime Day, which started in 2015, has grown to become one of the biggest internet shopping holidays, even bigger than Black Friday. In 2019, Amazon said it sold 175 million items during the 48-hour shopping event, surpassing Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales combined. That tops 2018 Prime Day sales, during which it sold about 100 million products.
As recently as last week, Amazon was making preparations to go forward with Prime Day in the usual July timeframe, telling merchants to begin shipping inventory and to register for the giant sales event, as Business Insider previously reported.
But with the coronavirus pandemic causing disruption throughout the world, holding the Prime Day sales event in July would have been a massive undertaking for Amazon. The company’s supply chain is already under strain as Amazon aims to prioritise the delivery of essential goods, like food and household items, to consumers.
And, with Amazon warehouse and delivery workers protesting the safety of work conditions – and several Amazon employees testing positive for COVID-19 – holding a giant Prime Day celebration of consumerism would likely have exposed Amazon to a sharp backlash.
Amazon declined to provide a comment for this story.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said in a recent memo to employees that his time is “now wholly focused on COVID-19 and on how Amazon could best play its role.” The company has ordered millions of face masks for employees and contractors who cannot work from home, and has committed to hiring for 100,000 new roles. In that memo, Bezos also urged restaurant workers who have been laid off as a result of closures stemming from the virus to consider working for Amazon.
But the company has also come under scrutiny for its treatment of warehouse workers during the pandemic. Amazon recently fired a warehouse worker in New York after he helped organise a protest in response to the retail giant’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.