Amazon pitches early holiday shopping with fall ‘Prime Day’ event

In this news, we discuss the Amazon pitches early holiday shopping with fall ‘Prime Day’ event.

(Reuters) – Amazon.com Inc AMZN.O on Tuesday began 48 hours of promotions as part of “Prime Day,” a closely watched marketing event the company had postponed due to operational challenges related to the coronavirus pandemic.

The event, typically held in July to boost summer sales, is now the kick-off for what will be a holiday shopping season earlier. Member-only discounts are a key way for Amazon to market Prime, a fast shipping and media streaming service that drives subscribers to shop more on Amazon.

Rivals Walmart Inc WMT.N and Target Corp TGT.N are running promotions at the same time. Online sales may prove essential for retailers, as the pandemic prevents typical crowds in stores after the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States.

At the start of the pandemic, Amazon was focused on shipping essential items to buyers. Now its focus is on helping customers with their Prime Day vacation listings, said Jamil Ghani, vice president of the company.

“This kicks off the holiday season,” he told Reuters last month.

Amazon is hosting the event in Turkey and Brazil for the first time. In Latin America, Amazon faced an uphill battle with its local rivals.

A news report site Reveal said the week around Prime Day last year was the most dangerous for Amazon fulfillment center injuries, which drew criticism from a leading union.

“Amazon’s Prime Day means more injuries and unacceptable levels of stress for its workforce,” said Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Stores Union, in a press release.

“Normally, it’s a trying time for workers. During a global pandemic, it could push workers beyond their limits, ”he said.

Amazon disputed the allegations, saying performance expectations and employee injury rates are not higher during the holiday season.

“The safety of our employees is our top priority,” he said in a statement.

Reporting by Jeffrey Dastin in San Francisco; Edited by Stephen Coates

Original © Thomson Reuters Corporation

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