Amazon's 'Prime Day' could provide a major boost to July's retail sales report

While many Amazon shoppers were disappointed by the Prime Day selection of Flintstone vitamins, Tupperware, and other seemingly random items, the company recorded record sales on the day.

Amazon customers are said to have purchased 34.4 million items at a rate of 398 products per second on July 15.

This put Prime Day ahead of any Black Friday on record.

But analysts at Nomura are saying that Prime Day — and related events — could add as much as 0.6% to total retail sales in July.

Here’s Nomura:

Some preliminary estimates have noted that Prime Day alone could add $US2bn to retail sales in the third quarter. Currently, it’s hard to pin down an exact figure. But if the $US2bn dollar figure is taken at face value, it is quite large. It is equivalent to about a 5% m-o-m increase in the “nonstore retailers” segment of retail sales, or about four-tenths of a per cent increase in total retail sales.

Nomura cautions that there are some caveats to this estimation. Most importantly, it’s unclear whether Prime Day simply initiated a substitution effect. That is, did shoppers who were going to buy something in July anyway wait until Prime Day to buy the items more cheaply on Amazon?

But, there are also some ways in which Prime Day’s impact could be augmented.

On July 15 other online retailers, like Walmart, amped up their own sales to try to compete with Amazon’s 20th anniversary celebration. This brought even more sales to what is typically considered one of the weakest shopping months of the year.

All in all, Nomura concludes that “the 1-day sales event could add around 0.2pp to 0.6pp to total retail sales in July.”

July’s retail sales report from the Census will be reported on August 13.

Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through hispersonal investment company Bezos Expeditions.

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