Amazon Prime Day normally takes place every year in July, and last year the web giant sold over 175 million items during the two day sale.
But in 2020, due to the Covid-19 virus which has caused huge supply chain and workforce disruption, Prime Day has been delayed until August or September, according to a new report by Reuters.
Reuters says: “Amazon is postponing its major summer shopping event, Prime Day, until at least August and expects a potential $100 million hit from excess devices it might now sell at a discount, according to internal meeting notes.”
Prime Day decision
Prime Day was launched in 2015 as a way to stimulate sales during the summer shopping lull, though the company never publishes the date far in advance.
This year’s decision to delay it means Amazon will have 5 million extra devices it would have expected to sell sooner. These include items such as voice-controlled Echo speakers which have been popular orders during previous Prime Day events.
The delay of Prime Day will also affect third-party merchants who have come to depend on Amazon’s platform for mid-year revenue.
Amazon’s fulfilment staff safety concerns
Amazon fulfilment centre workers have been at the front line of supplying essential goods to consumers during the coronavirus outbreak, which (at the time of writing) has infected more than a million people globally and led to more than 54,000 deaths.
In recent months unions have criticised Amazon for not doing enough to protect workers. Concerns include not ensuring enough space between workers, failures to close for deep cleaning, employees risking infection where colleagues have fallen ill, exposure from handling deliveries and a lack of gloves and hand sanitisers.
The Guardian has reported that workers at Amazon’s warehouse and shipping facilities say they fear going to work amid the coronavirus outbreak, and have called on the company to do more to improve safety.