Amazon announces dates for delayed Prime Day sales

National News

Amazon is aiming to kickstart the holiday shopping season early this year.

The company is holding its annual Prime Day over two days in October this year, after the coronavirus pandemic forced it to postpone the sales event from July. It’s the first time Prime Day is being held in the fall, and Amazon is positioning it as a way to get people to start their holiday shopping.

Even before Amazon’s announcement Monday, major retailers have said they plan to push shoppers to start their holiday shopping in October and offer deals earlier, hoping to avoid crowds in stores during November and December.

Prime Day approaches as Amazon has launched a hiring spree. The e-commerce giant said earlier this month it would hire 100,000 full and part-time workers for jobs including sorting customer orders and making deliveries. Those positions are on top of Amazon looking to fill 33,000 corporate and technology jobs that come with an average salary of $150,000.

Prime Day, which will run Oct. 13 and Oct. 14, is sure to put pressure on retail rivals to offer deals around the same time. In past years, Walmart, Best Buy and Target have offered their own online discounts during Prime Day.

Amazon started the sales event in 2015 as its answer to Singles’ Day, a shopping holiday popularized by Chinese ecommerce company Alibaba. Prime Day has become one of Amazon’s biggest shopping days.

Last year’s Prime Day was marked by a computer glitch that kept some customers from loading items into their cart. The issue also allowed other customers to purchase thousands of dollars of camera equipment for $94.48. Customers hoping to take advantage of this year’s Prime Day should beware of unfamiliar brands of TV sets, check product pages for fake reviews and don’t assume all prices are the best deals, experts say. 

Prime directive: Adding members

Amazon hopes to make this year’s event the most successful ever for small businesses, Worldwide Consumer CEO Jeff Wilke said in a statement. He said having Prime Day in October “is the perfect opportunity for Prime members to get their holiday shopping done early from the comfort of their homes.” 

Amazon also sees the day as a way to get more people to sign up for a Prime membership. Only Prime members will be offered the discounts, which this year feature more than a million deals across toys, electronics, fashion, beauty, kitchen and Amazon devices like Alexa or Echo.

The company said Amazon Prime members in 19 countries will get access to deals this year, including two new ones: Brazil and Turkey. It already held Prime Day in India this summer.

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