Amazon Prime Day is not going to be in July this year, as is the norm. Instead, the company is pushing it back, tentatively, to September. It has not finalized the date.
In the meantime, Amazon will host a summer fashion sale called The Big Style Sale, according to a company spokesperson. The sale will feature "seasonally relevant deals from both established and smaller fashion brands," the spokesperson says.
Here's why Amazon Prime Day is being postponed and what to expect form The Big Style Sale.
There are many factors — including warehouse capacity, labor, and supply — that make hosting a successful Prime Day this year challenging, says Karan Girotra, a professor of operations, technology and information management at Cornell University.
Amazon "shifted warehouse capacity to [prioritize] 'essentials' in March, and while they eased up on that in April, they are still nowhere close to the very wide assortment they used to carry pre-Covid," he says.
Additionally, suppliers of some of Prime Day's biggest sellers, like new tech gadgets, might not have the quantity of product due to manufacturing slowdowns during the pandemic, Girotra says.
The "most vexxing" issue, he says, is manpower. Normally, Amazon would have weeks to prepare for the uptick in sales that happens on Prime Day. The company would hire seasonal staff, increase hours, and order extra inventory. But this year, that's not as easy with precautions in place.
"I don't think there is as much room to do that this year," Girotra says. "They have been running full steam and there is very little slack to increase capacity and do all the planning needed to pull off these events. I think they are already doing very high volumes, and doing an event which involves a lot of operational planning does not seem worthwhile at this time."
Amazon's Big Style Sale will start on June 22 and last for 7 to 10 days, according to reporting from CNBC. It is an "invitation-only" sale, which means that Amazon reached out to specific brands to see which ones would be willing to offer at least 30% off their products. The sale will feature "both established and smaller fashion brands," according to the site's spokesperson.
Still, the lack of details provided by the company makes it hard to predict what exactly will be on sale, says Julie Ramhold, consumer analyst at DealNews.com.
"We've seen that it's 'seasonally relevant' fashion items, so I'm expecting things like shorts, T-shirts, skirts, sandals, summer dresses, and probably swimwear" to be on sale, she says.
Video by Stephen Parkhurst
The focus on clothing, experts believe, is because apparel is more readily available than traditional Prime Day deals like small kitchen appliances, toys, and electronics that shoppers were still splurging on during quarantine.
"Clothes sales dropped much more precipitously during Covid and we have more excess inventory in clothing than ever before," Girotra says. "Which is saying something as even pre-Covid, clothing retailers and brands were making way too much."
Clothing sales are also more time-sensitive than other products, he adds, as fashion is seasonal: "Either you store it and delay recouping your investments for a year or so, or you get rid of what you have at whatever price."
Although the sales will likely not offer the same deals Prime Day usually does, experts say it will still be worth a look.
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