Amazon’s Prime Day is finally coming. The annual sale event will be held in the US on Tuesday, Oct. 13, and Wednesday, Oct. 14, according to an internal message Amazon sent employees this week.
The message, sent Thursday, said that an official announcement from Amazon is coming Sept. 28.
CNET on Tuesday reported that Prime Day would kick off on Oct. 13, citing four people with knowledge of Amazon’s plans.
In preparation for the sale, Amazon has already blacked out vacation for its full-time warehouse workers from Oct. 13-20, according to another internal message to employees that CNET reviewed. The news fits with earlier statements from Amazon that confirmed the closely followed online event would take place in the fourth quarter.
An Amazon spokesperson on Tuesday declined to comment on the starting date. “Stay tuned for more details on Prime Day,” the spokesperson said. “Customers can also say, ‘Alexa, keep me posted on Prime Day.'”
Last year, Amazon extended Prime Day to 48 hours from 36 hours the year before. Prime Day was held in India this year Aug. 6-7.
Like just about everything else in 2020, Prime Day was impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The sale typically takes place in mid-July as a way to boost revenue during an otherwise slow summer retail season. Amazon delayed the event, however, as the retailer struggled to retrofit its sprawling logistics operations to handle both a surge in online orders and dozens of protocols designed to keep its warehouse workers safe.
The changes delayed shipments for months. After delivery times improved, Amazon had the ability to forge ahead with Prime Day.
Amazon will have lots of new and updated gadgets and services of its own to pitch to consumers on Prime Day. This Thursday, the company hosted its annual fall product launch, revealing a redesigned set of Echo speakers, the new Echo Show 10 smart display and an in-home security drone called the Ring Always Home Cam.
The new dates for Prime Day alter the dynamics of the event. Many Prime customers may end up buying their holiday gifts earlier than usual because the sale will be held much closer to year’s end. Still, Amazon isn’t expected to eat into its holiday season sales by holding Prime Day so late, because its sales during the pandemic have been substantially higher than usual, and that trend isn’t expected to stop anytime soon.
Brick-and-mortar retailers, though, may see a noticeable benefit from Prime Day, since dozens of them usually promote their own discounts in parallel with the sale. This year has been especially difficult for traditional retailers, as lockdowns shuttered their locations for a chunk of the year and many customers have avoided going into stores. That’s forced many retailers into bankruptcy protection, including J.Crew, Pier 1 and JCPenney.
Likewise, the millions of smaller merchants that list their products on Amazon should also see a boost from Prime Day.