Prime Day gives holiday shoppers early start
NEWYORK— Halloween is still weeks away, but retailers are hoping you’ll start your holiday shopping now.
The push is coming from Amazon, holding its Prime Day sales event Tuesday and Wednesday, kick-starting the holiday shopping season. It’s the first time Prime Day that has been held in the fall.
Walmart, Best Buy and Target are also offering online deals over the same two days, hoping to lure deal seekers.
There’s good reason for the early start. Retailers are worried that a rush of online orders later could lead to shipping delays in November and December.
And stores want to avoid big crowds inside their stores during the pandemic. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said shopping in crowded stores during Thanksgiving holiday weekend, when stores typically start their holiday deals, is a higher risk activity.
More than 3 in 4 consumers plan to shop earlier this year than a year ago, with a third citing safety concerns, according to an International Council of Shopping Centers survey released Friday.
Market research firm e Marketer expects Amazon to bring in $9.9 billion in sales worldwide during the two-day event, up 43% from last year.
Prime Day, which Amazon started in 2015 as a way to get people shopping during the summer lull, has become one of the company’s biggest shopping days of the year, offering discounts on TVs, toys and its own gadgets, such as Fire tablets and Echo voice-activated speakers.
Amazon also sees it as away to get more people to sign up for its Prime membership, since only those paying $12.99 a month or $119 a year can partake in the discounts.
It’s a winning combination for Amazon, which earlier this year hired more than 175,000 for its network of fulfillment centers after a spike in online orders overwhelmed the company, forcing it to delay some deliveries. Amazon reported record profits last quarter, and investors have pushed the shares up 85% this year, giving Amazon a $1.7 trillion market value.