A Mixed Bag For Retailers

Alexa, when is Amazon Prime Day? We finally got the answer this week, as Amazon announced its annual “Prime Day” sales event will kick off at midnight Pacific Time on Tuesday, October 13, and run through Wednesday, October 14. Prime Day came to life on July 15, 2015, as a way to celebrate Amazon’s 20th birthday, offering deep discounts to Prime members across a wide variety of categories. Each year, the event has grown larger. In 2019, Prime members worldwide purchased more than 175 million items, resulting in sales that surpassed Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined. Amazon’s own Echo and Fire branded products have typically been the bestselling products, often enticing customers to purchase Amazon Prime memberships.

Historically, the annual event has taken place in Summer, however, this year, Prime Day was delayed due to COVID-19. With Prime Day taking place in October, it is expected to impact holiday spending this year significantly.

Predicting consumer spending for this holiday season has been top of mind for most retailers and brands this year, as COVID-19 has introduced substantial uncertainty into the 2020 holiday season. Most publicly-traded retailers have withdrawn their guidance for Q4, citing considerable uncertainty. The chief economist for the National Retail Federation (NRF), Jack Kleinhenz, says, “I am cautiously optimistic about the fourth quarter in terms of the economy and consumer spending, but the outlook is clouded with uncertainty pivoting on COVID-19 infection rates.”

Traditionally, the Thanksgiving Day weekend kicks off holiday spending in the U.S., as millions of shoppers line up Friday morning to earn Black Friday doorbuster deals, followed by even more consumers shopping online the following