Amazon may delay its Prime Day promotional event until September as it tries to regain its footing amid a surge in demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic, The Wall Street Journal reported. Usually held over the summer, Prime Day has become a cash cow for Amazon; the 2019 event brought in an estimated $7 billion.
But like many online retailers, Amazon has had challenges keeping up with customer demand for home delivery during the pandemic. In March, the company said it would “temporarily prioritize” shipments of essential items like medical supplies and household products to help keep up with orders.
Amazon has also come under scrutiny for how it has been treating workers during the pandemic, with work stoppages and widespread complaints from warehouse workers that say the company has not done enough to protect them from the spread of the virus.
During its first quarter earnings call last month, Amazon said it expects to spend at least $4 billion just on COVID-19-related expenses. The company reported $4 billion in operating income for the quarter and net sales of $75.5 billion.
Reports that Amazon was planning to delay Prime Day until at least August began swirling last month. Reuters reported that the company expected to lose $100 million “from excess devices it may now have to sell at a discount” due to the delay.
Last year, Amazon said that Prime Day 2019 — which was actually two days, July 15th and 16th — was the largest shopping event in the company’s history. Amazon also said that the two-day Prime Day 2019 saw the “two biggest days ever for member signups.”