Once upon a time, Black Friday was America’s big shopping day, but as online shopping outpaced brick-and-mortar stores and the allure of standing outside a big-box retailer in the freezing cold for hours faded, Amazon Prime Day took over.
Now the annual e-commerce holiday is COVID-19’s latest victim.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Amazon is rescheduling its spendapalooza from the summer to September. The switch will help the Seattle-based giant offer more types of merchandise and deliver those goods faster.
“What they’re really trying to do is say, ‘Prime Day is really an important event and puts an enormous amount of stress on (us). We want to be ready for it,'” said Mark Cohen, director of retail studies at the Columbia Business School.
Prime Day, named after the company’s membership service, is usually in July. In 2019, for example, it ran from July 15-16.
The holiday was first held in 2015 to celebrate Amazon’s 20th birthday.
No 2020 date is posted on the business’s website. The only allusion to the upcoming selling celebration is, “Prime Day is once again poised to delight members as we deliver the best of both shopping and entertainment. Stay tuned for more star-studded news, coming soon.”
Fast Company reached out to Amazon to confirm the report, but the company declined to comment.
In late March, Amazon shifted to food and essential items and stopped receiving nonessential goods from third parties and pushed back its delivery windows.
Even with delayed date, demand on Prime Day might be muted, as Americans—unemployed or fearful of losing their jobs—cut back on their shopping.
“The Amazon brand has been enhanced markedly by the presence of these days, and they want the Amazon brand to be viewed as favorably as it has been,” Cohen explained. “They don’t want to disappoint people. They’re probably pushing it, because they can’t deliver what they believe customers expect from them until they reset.”