Local ShoppingAmazon sets a second Prime sale for October, again

Amazon sets a second Prime sale for October, again

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Dive Brief:

  • Amazon will hold a second sale event in October, open to Prime members in 19 countries, Doug Herrington, CEO of Worldwide Amazon Stores, said in a LinkedIn post Tuesday.

  • “Prime Big Deal Days” will take place in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, the U.S. and the U.K., the company said in a blog post.

  • The e-commerce giant held an October sale following its mid-summer Prime event for the first time last year.

Dive Insight:

Amazon just set the pace for the holiday shopping season, as its October sale is unlikely to go unanswered. Every year retailers have moved swiftly to compete with Amazon Prime Day, for example.

“It’s basically the start of the holiday,” Rick Watson, founder and CEO of RMW Commerce Consulting, said by phone of the October event. “Holiday promotions seem to keep moving earlier and earlier, and I think Amazon is using this as a way to kick off the season, get consumers excited thinking about Amazon again and add another bump to volume in the middle of Q4.”

Last year’s October Prime event also had retailers scrambling to initiate markdowns early, undermining the impact of the more traditional Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, according to GlobalData Managing Director Neil Saunders.

“For the wider retail sector, Amazon’s decision is disruptive as it means spend will be pulled forward and the traditional calendar of discounting will be upended,” he said in emailed comments.

The fall Prime deals event last year missed expectations and was estimated to have fallen short of Prime Day itself. Scheduling it again is an acknowledgment of consumers’ laser focus on finding good deals, the analysts said. While inflation has eased greatly, consumers will likely stay fixated on finding low prices for the back-to-school and holiday seasons.

“Amazon knows that to project a value-for-money message and to drive sales growth it has to pull out all of the stops and give consumers an excuse to buy,” Saunders said. “Our wider view is that the final quarter will be reasonable for retail. However, volumes will fall and a battle for market share will mean that margins come under a significant amount of pressure.”

The e-commerce giant this year is giving Prime members — and anyone contemplating Prime membership — more time to prepare for the sale. In 2020, during the height of the pandemic, the company scheduled Prime Day for October instead of July with a couple weeks’ notice. In 2022, despite weeks of speculation that a second sale was coming, Amazon also waited until late September to announce one. The e-retailer may have realized that was a mistake, Watson said.

“If you know you’re going to have it, why wait until the last minute to announce it?” he said. “They’re only hurting themselves.”

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