Amazon Prime Day has been delayed in the US, the company announced today. The annual shopping event, which promises discounts for Amazon Prime members, is usually held in mid-July, but Amazon has now confirmed that it intends to hold the event “later than usual” this year. The company did not set a new date, but said it would be “sharing more details soon.”
”This year we’ll be holding Prime Day later than usual, while ensuring the safety of our employees and supporting our customers and selling partners,” a spokesperson for the company told The Verge. They added that the company plans to go ahead with a discount event in India on August 6-7. “Members all around the world will experience Prime Day later this year,” the spokesperson said.
The reason for the delay appears to be the COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused demand for Amazon’s services to skyrocket during an economic downturn, adding $74 billion to Jeff Bezos’ personal fortune in 2020 for a total of $189.3 billion, according to Bloomberg. The pandemic has also put pressure on the company to operate without endangering its warehouse workers. As of mid-May, NBC News reported that eight of the company’s warehouse workers had died of the virus, and Amazon is now facing a lawsuit from employees who allege its hygiene policies didn’t go far enough to protect them. Amazon said in April that it expects to spend over $4 billion in coronavirus-related expenses including personal protective equipment (PPE), cleaning for facilities, and building out its own COVID-19 testing facilities.
Rumors that Prime Day would be delayed date back to at least April, when it was reported that the event could be delayed until August. However, most recently, CNBC reported that the company had told third-party sellers to expect Prime Day to happen on October 5th this year. That’s within two months of another major shopping day for Amazon, the Black Friday weekend, which is due to start on November 27th this year.