Who wins/loses if Amazon pushes Prime Day to September?
A Wall Street Journal report says that Amazon.com is looking to get its once vaunted distribution system back into its pre-pandemic shape and doing so will require pushing its annual Prime Day event from July to September. The e-tailing giant is also no longer limiting shipments of nonessential items to its warehouses.
The first piece of the news, moving Prime Day to the fall, may have significant ramifications for both Amazon and its rivals when the 2020 retail year shakes out.
Amazon has continued to grow Prime Day and has reported record sales each year it has run the event. The e-tailing giant said its 48-hour 2019 Prime Day results topped the combined sales on Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2018. Prime members bought a total of over 175 million items from Amazon directly as well as from its third-party marketplace sellers. Consumers went to the site to begin buying what they would need for back-to-school and even Christmas, in some instances.
Competitors running their own events in parallel with Amazon also benefited. Those seeing year-over-year online gains during the 2019 Prime Day period were Best Buy (60.7 percent), Costco (35.3 percent), Etsy (21.5 percent), Gap (100.4 percent), Home Depot (13.1 percent), IKEA (3.7 percent), Kohl’s (42.8 percent), Nike (153.2 percent), Sam’s Club (48.2 percent), Target (18.2 percent), Walmart (42.6 percent) and Wayfair (8.7 percent).
While marketplace sellers that have seen their own business operations set back by the novel coronavirus outbreak may welcome the news of having a couple more months to get ready for Prime Day, others looking to push out excess inventory may see it differently.
How will retail rivals respond? Will those that have had fewer issues keeping up with the demand for products during the outbreak, such as Walmart and Target, fill the promotional void left by Amazon with even bigger sales events of their own in July?
Walmart posted a 10 percent gain in same-store sales in the first quarter and the retailer’s online business jumped 74 percent on the strength of its grocery pickup and delivery services.
Target also reported big sales gains during the first quarter with same-store sales up 10.8 percent. The chain’s digital business, including target.com, Shipt same-day delivery and its store and parking lot pickup options, achieved a 141 percent year-over-year increase.
- Amazon Targets Fall for Prime Day as it Tries to Return to Pre-Pandemic Operations – The Wall Street Journal
- Alexa, How Was Prime Day? Prime Day 2019 Surpassed Black Friday and Cyber Monday Combined – Amazon.com
- Amazon and rivals report record Prime Day results – RetailWire
- Has the pandemic transformed Walmart into an unstoppable force? – RetailWire
- Can Target afford to pay (not pay) a $15 minimum wage? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Will Amazon’s 2020 results be helped or hurt if it moves Prime Day from July to September, and will the decision affect its results beyond this year? What do you expect Amazon’s wide range of retailing rivals to do in July?