Amazon’s Prime Day Sales Seen Sharply Exceeding 2019 Level

Online retailer Amazon’s annual Prime Day shopping extravaganza starts at midnight U.S. Eastern Oct. 13 and sales are expected to exceed those of last year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.

The Seattle tech provider and online retailer’s event, which runs two full days, could net $9.9 billion in total sales, eMarketer estimates. 

That figure is more than 38% above last year’s Prime Day. Amazon doesn’t release sales figures for the event, but researchers pegged last year’s sales at roughly $7.16 billion.

J.P. Morgan analyst Doug Anmuth more conservatively estimates Amazon will take in $7.5 billion of revenue from the event this year, up 42% from an estimated $5.3 billion in 2019. 

“The biggest difference this year is that Prime Day is running three months later than its typical mid-July timing. [And] as such Amazon is promoting the event as an early start to holiday shopping vs. Prime Day’s typical focus on summer and back-to-school shopping,” he wrote in a recent research note.

Prime Day has been delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.

According to Fareeha Ali, research and editorial director at Digital Commerce 360, this Prime Day also stands out because the retail landscape has shifted online with many new Prime members expected to join. 

“Retail has been flipped on its head this year because of the coronavirus pandemic,” she told TheStreet by email. 

“With store closures, e-commerce growth exploded much more than expected. And Amazon, as the No. 1 retailer in North America, benefited from more consumers shopping online. ‘

“It’s likely that Amazon gained many new customers this year — particularly Prime members — who will be eligible to shop Prime Day deals,” she said.

Prime members pay $119 a year, or $13 a month, for their subscriptions. For that cost, they get free and fast shipping, free

House report is sharply critical of Treasury’s handling of payroll program

Ultimately, the subcommittee concluded that instead of preserving jobs, the Trump administration’s implementation of the Payroll Support Program “significantly weakened the Program’s impact on job preservation.”

The subcommittee’s assessment comes in stark contrast to how the program has played out for passenger airlines, which received the bulk of the more than $25 billion that was allocated to pay front-line workers. Airline and union leaders say the program saved tens of thousands of jobs until it expired Oct. 1 and have been aggressively pushing to extend it through the end of March.

“The Payroll Support Program has supported hundreds of thousands of aviation industry jobs, kept workers employed and connected to their healthcare, and played a critical role in preserving the U.S. airline industry,” the Treasury Department said in a statement. “Implementation focused first on the largest employers to help stabilize an industry in crisis and support as many jobs as possible for as long as possible. Treasury provided over 80% of the requested funds supporting over four hundred thousand jobs within 26 days of the enactment of the CARES Act.”

The subcommittee’s report also slammed contractors for laying off workers even as they sought to secure government aid.

“Documents uncovered during the Select Subcommittee’s investigation show that aviation contractors sought to avoid ‘unnecessary costs’ by terminating employees before executing [Payroll Support Program] agreements,” the report said.

The report found that aviation contractors laid off or furloughed nearly 58,000 employees before applying for assistance through the Payroll Support Program, 17 times the number reported by passenger carriers. At least 16,655 employees were laid off or furloughed between when the application period opened and when companies finalized their agreement with the Treasury Department.

The subcommittee said briefings with Treasury officials and contractors as well as its review of tens of thousands of