More than 250 retailers are expected to offer competing discounts on Amazon Prime Day — and some are using not-so-subtle phrases like ‘prime time’ to promote their sales

Amazon Prime Day has inspired a lot of copycat sales. Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto via Getty Images
  • More than 250 retailers are expected to roll out sales of their own to directly compete with Amazon Prime Day, and many are using phrases like “prime time” in their marketing of those deals.
  • According to analysts, Amazon Prime Day has become a “true national retail holiday that other retailers are now taking advantage of.”
  • Walmart, Macy’s, Zappos, Nordstrom, and Zara are expected to offer the highest discounts to compete with Amazon, according to a report from retail analytics firm Edited.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

As competing retailers look to capitalise on Amazon Prime Day, several aren’t holding back from using phrases like “prime time” to announce sales and discounts of their own.

More than 250 retailers are expected to offer promotions in the next two days, up from 194 brands that held deals to compete with Prime Day in 2018, according to RetailMeNot. Both in advance of and shortly after the start of Amazon Prime Day – the 48-hour shopping event that began at midnight PT on Monday, July 15 and runs through 11:59 p.m. PT on Tuesday July, 16 – competing retailers sent out emails to consumers and added banners to their websites promoting “prime time” sales.

“Amazon Prime Day has turned mid-July into a true national retail holiday that other retailers are now also taking advantage of, from eBay to Target to Macy’s,” Tyler Higgins, director of the retail practice at AArete, a global consulting firm, wrote in an emailed statement. “Amazon is changing the landscape of retail spending and marketing trends, putting pressure on retailers to respond with new ideas [and] trying to get market share of this July spending spree.”

Read more: People are calling for boycotts of Amazon on Prime Day – but you might be giving the company money even if you don’t realise it

According to a report from retail analytics firm Edited, competing retailers that are expected to have the highest competing discount rates include Walmart, Macy’s, Zappos, Nordstrom, and Zara. The average discount from competing brands is also expected to rise following trends from previous years – in 2018, the average discount from competing retailers was 42.7%, up from 39% in 2017, according to Edited.

Among the brands using the word “prime” in discount marketing, DSW sent an email to shoppers with the subject line “It’s prime time” to announce a 20% storewide sale running until July 17, while Blink Fitness opted for “It’s PRIME TIME you give us a try” to sell discounted membership plans.

Screen Shot 2019 07 15 at 12.15.16 PM
The DSW homepage on July 15. DSW
Screen Shot 2019 07 15 at 11.55.38 AM
The Blink Fitness homepage on June 15. Blink Fitness

J.Crew announced a “prime time event” that consists of “epic deals” for two days only.

Screen Shot 2019 07 15 at 10.14.06 AM
The J.Crew homepage on July 15. J.Crew

Some companies, like New York & Company and Roku, took to Twitter to share their “prime time” deals.

Some shoppers also took to the social media platform to share their thoughts on the incessant use of “prime time”

Kayla Marci, Edited’s market analyst, told Business Insider that in addition to brands using lines like “prime time,” others are making clear jabs and cheeky riffs at Amazon Prime Day. She cited retailers like Destination XL and Dolls Kill, which are referring to their sales as “fake holiday sale” and “Slime Day,” respectively.

“There is a growing trend of retailers using their messaging to take direct hits at Amazon,” Marci said. “eBay has named its promotion the ‘Crash Sale,’ poking fun at when the site went down last year and have said to unlock even more discounts if it happens again this year.”

However, not all competitors are going for the overt use of “prime” or opting to mock Amazon in their marketing. Macy’s, for example, created a new sales event of its own called “Black Friday in July” while Target is featuring an online-only, week-long Target Deals Day. Marci noted that many other brands – including Nike, Perry Ellis, and Aldo, among others – are positioning their competing promotions as summer sales by using phrases like “two-day summer sale” or “summer cyber sale.”

“Shoppers would be amiss to be only loyal to Amazon on Prime Day,” Dan Neiweem, co-founder and principal at Avionos, wrote in a statement. “If the goal is to get the best deal, then shoppers should shop across other retailers and expand their search beyond the e-commerce giant.”

Now tell us what you think!