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Amazon Prime Day may be postponed due to COVID-19


Expect Amazon Prime Day, also known as Black Friday in July, to be postponed because of the coronavirus.

The retail giant started its annual summer sale in 2015 as a way to reward members of its Prime subscription. The big sale has been held annually in July.

But according to internal meeting notes acquired by media outlets including USA TODAY and Vice News, the company’s general counsel David Zapolsky says “Prime Day will be pushed off at least until August.”

Amazon officials reached for comment Saturday declined to comment.

Sales from the 2019 Prime Day event held in mid-July were higher than sales during 2018’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined. Members worldwide purchased 175 million items during the two-day sale available only to subscribers of Amazon’s Prime service, the company said.

But while Prime Day is expected to be delayed, there could be some discounted Amazon devices.

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Amazon has seen increased demands for delivery of products as tens of millions of Americans have stayed in their homes in attempts to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Three weeks ago, the company said it planned to hire 100,000 workers to assist with online deliveries during the pandemic and temporarily raise its minimum pay to $17 an hour. 

In the memo, which is reportedly notes from a daily meeting to update Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos, Zapolsky says based on the “Prime Day decision,” there is 5 million “unit overhang in devices.”

“We probably have to promote sooner, be difficult if we’re capacity constrained,” Zapolsky wrote, adding the “worst case” dollar amount is $300 million. “We’ll sell them but it will be a discount. Probably more like $100M hit to plan.”

The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union shared the text of the memo with USA TODAY. The memo addressed many of the company’s planned actions during the ongoing coronavirus crisis including a strategy to smear the organizer of a worker walkout at the Staten Island, New York, fulfillment center. Amazon fired Chris Smalls, the organizer of the workplace walkout, several hours after the event Monday.





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