Since 2015, Amazon has staged their premier annual sale event – Prime Day – during summer, when consumer demand is lighter since the American public is typically engaged in warm-weather outdoor activities. But this year, the world’s largest E-commerce business postponed Prime Day to remain focused on stabilizing supply chains in order to satisfy skyrocketing demand – the result of an almost-overnight shift to online shipping tied to store closures related to Covid-19.
With most brick-and-mortar stores temporarily shuttered, Americans began sourcing a large share of their purchases from online stores. Amazon benefitted handsomely, but the sudden spike in demand exacted a toll on company operations. One change Amazon made was to postpone Prime Day, which last year generated over $7 billion in sales (Digital Commerce 360 estimate), until October 13-14.
Most large U.S. retailers have announced they will not stage major in-store sale events this year on Black Friday – the day after Thanksgiving, deeming it unwise and unsafe to encourage so many shoppers to mingle in close proximity to one another. By staging their Prime Day sale in October, Amazon effectively forced the hands of other major U.S. retailers.
With millions of Americans out of work as a result of the pandemic-induced recession, overall holiday spending is expected to decline this year. Plus, there will be fewer and smaller holiday gatherings so fewer opportunities this year to exchange gifts, and hence, lower overall retail sales. So major retailers are expected to compete more aggressively and earlier this holiday shopping season. Each will strive to capture more than its fair share of consumer spending, which is likewise expected to happen sooner this year than ever before.
Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer, kicked off their “Big Save Event” at 7 p.m. on Sunday – two days ahead of Amazon’s Prime Day kickoff. The sale runs through October 15. Target will take a different tack and go head to head against Amazon by running their Target Deal Days concurrently with Amazon’s Prime Day on October 13 and 14.
This Ecommerce news update is presented by the Butcher Block Co. – an online-only store whose kitchen-centric product line includes butcher block countertops; butcher block islands, tables, carts, and cutting boards; and kitchen knives and knife holders.
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