After months of speculation, Amazon confirmed today its plans to delay Prime Day.
The annual online shopping extravaganza, which normally takes place over a couple days in mid-July, has been postponed to a later date amid the coronavirus pandemic. Amazon has yet to release a new date for the event, but some reports have suggested that it could occur as late as September.
“This year we’ll be holding Prime Day later than usual, while ensuring the safety of our employees and supporting our customers and selling partners,” an Amazon spokesperson wrote in an email to FN. Prime members in India, on the other hand, will celebrate the retail holiday on Aug. 6 and 7.
Over the past few months, the Seattle-based retailer has seen a coronavirus-induced spike in product demand, which likely caused a strain on its operations and led to shipping delays across its marketplace. During the first quarter, Amazon’s sales topped $75 billion as consumers loaded up on essential goods as the novel coronavirus was taking hold across the United States.
However, the company has cautioned that it could spend all of its profits for the second quarter — or about $4 billion — on COVID-19-related expenses. The costs, it said, would go toward providing personal protective equipment for associates and higher wages for hourly workers, as well as improving sanitation at facilities and building its own testing capacity.
According to meeting notes obtained by multiple outlets in May, Amazon expects it may have to sell excess devices at a discounted rate on Prime Day. This could result in a lost sales opportunity valued at between $100 million to $300 million, indicated the reports.
In 2019, the e-commerce giant said it sold 175 million items during its 48-hour “parade of epic deals.” While it did not reveal the total dollar amount Prime Day brought in, it shared that it broke records for sales of its own devices such as the Echo Dot, Fire tablet and Fire TV Stick. The company added that it sold $2 billion in products from small and medium-size businesses — nearly double the figure from the prior year.