What retailers can expect from Prime Day

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What retailers can expect from Prime Day

By Louisa Hallett - 07/03/2018
A Whole Foods store in the Boston area entices shoppers with Prime deals.

Amazon's Prime Day, arguably the third biggest shopping day of the year after Black Friday and Cyber Monday, will offer 36 hours of deals that for the first time will push into food and consumables.

The company announced that Prime Day will begin July 16 at 3 p.m. EST and last 36 hours instead of the 30 hours from last year; Prime members all over the world will be able to shop PD deals.

New this year will be heavy promotions and deep discounts at Whole Foods Market, which Amazon acquired last year in June.

“Prime Day is the perfect setting for Amazon to drive more trial and adoption of Whole Foods among their loyal Prime base,” Ryne Misso, director of marketing at Market Track, told The Wall Street Journal. “Amazon has already rolled out extremely competitive promotions at Whole Foods—like half-off baby back ribs last week—to drive new shoppers through the door. Add 10% off eligible items with your Prime membership, and Amazon has already removed some of the cost barriers that have kept shoppers away from Whole Foods in the past.”

The Whole Foods Market promotion for Prime Day includes a 10% discount for Prime members.

In addition to offering incentives for consumers, Amazon is introducing what they are calling “the best Prime Day celebration yet.” To enhance the excitement for Prime Day, Amazon announced that they will be shipping “giant Smile boxes” to select cities -- Brooklyn, Los Angeles, Milan, Tokyo and London this year, which hold “exciting events,” like a concert, inside. Customers can even watch the events unfold by simply clicking at amazon.com/unboxingprimeday.

“Prime members will enjoy a day (and a half) of our best deals, with 36 hours to shop more than one million deals worldwide,” said Jeff Wilke, Amazon CEO Worldwide Consumer. “New this year, members can shop exclusive Prime Day Launches from hundreds of brands worldwide, enjoy exclusive savings at Whole Foods Market and experience surprise entertainment events unboxed from giant Smile boxes in major cities. More than 100 million paid Prime members around the world will find our best Prime Day celebration yet.”

Rival retailers, such as Target and J.C. Penney, have reacted by initiating their back-to-school promotions earlier than usual, in hopes of trying to capture shoppers’ eyes as they look for deals through the Prime Day event.

Last years’ Prime Day is said to have generated Amazon an estimated $1 billion in sales, according to an analysis by Cowen & Co. and JPMorgan Chase. In addition, Amazon said it added "tens of millions" of Prime members to the platform overnight, which is yet another reason why the event has become so successful for the company.

Amazon recently revealed that it has more than 100 million paid Prime members globally.

The Amazon exclusive event began in 2015, typically featuring deep discounts on its own devices and brands, such as the new Fire TV and the AmazonBasics brand, as well as millions of other items featured through the Amazon website.