Amazon is postponing Prime Day in the U.S., the company made an announcement on Tuesday.
Amazon didn’t announce a date for the two-day summer sales event, which is typically held in mid-July, but said it would share “more details soon.” Earlier this month, Amazon told its third-party sellers to use the week of Oct. 5 as a “placeholder date” for Prime Day promotions and coupons.
The company declined to comment further regarding that date as the coronavirus pandemic seems to have pushed the biggest shopping event of the year.
An Amazon spokesperson said in a statement, “Over the last five years, Prime Day has become a special celebration and time for Prime members to shop incredible deals for themselves and for friends and family — and it’s something we look forward to every year,”.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.”
Although the Prime Day in the U.S. is being put on hold, Amazon said Prime Day will take place in India next month. The event will kick off at midnight on Aug. 6 and continue until Aug. 7, the company informed.
The delay was widely expected, and sellers and brands have been preparing for it for months. Speculations were abuzz at the beginning of April, as Amazon saw unprecedented demand from stuck-at-home shoppers during the COVID crisis.
The unexpected surge in orders quickly caused supply chain shortages and delivery delays. Since then, operations at Amazon’s warehouses have just been limping back to normal but the company now faces fresh COVID outbreaks across the country, which could potentially threaten its logistics operations again.
The pandemic is still likely to dampen consumer enthusiasm for Prime Day, as the ongoing pandemic and widespread business closures create record unemployment, said James Thomson, a former Amazon manager and now a partner at brand consultancy Buy Box Experts.
However, if Amazon can secure new Prime subscribers or push shoppers to buy its own devices, Prime Day will still be considered a success for the company, as those things help draw more customers into the Amazon ecosystem where they’re likely to remain and spend more money over the long-term, Thomson further added.
Fahim Naim, a former Amazon executive and CEO of e-commerce consultancy eShopportunity commented that Brands in hard-hit categories, such as apparel, remain excited about Prime Day because the event is guaranteed to drive more traffic.“If there’s already so much traffic on the platform, you want some kind of Prime Day deal so customers can get excited,” Naim said. “No one wants to buy anything at full price on that day.”