The annual shopping holiday is typically held on two days in mid-July. But according to WSJ, the Seattle-based e-tailer has seen a strain on its warehouse operations due to the coronavirus outbreak, which caused it to postpone the event.
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It had previously been reported that Prime Day would be delayed until at least August. According to Amazon meeting notes obtained by multiple outlets, the e-tailer expects it may have to sell excess devices at a discount rate, which could result a lost sales opportunity valued at between $100 million to $300 million.
In 2019, Amazon said it sold 175 million items during its 48-hour “parade of epic deals.” While the e-commerce giant did not reveal the total dollar amount that Prime Day brought in, Amazon said it broke records for sales of its own devices such as the Echo Dot, Fire tablet and Fire TV Stick, drawing in participants from 18 countries. The company said it sold $2 billion in product from small and medium-size businesses, almost double the figure from the year before.
For the first quarter, Amazon sales topped $75 billion as the novel coronavirus caused consumers to shop online and load up on certain household goods. Year to date, the e-tailer’s share price has risen by more than 25%. But Amazon has cautioned that it could spend all of its profits for the second quarter on coronavirus-related expenses. The company said it typically expects to rake in $4 billion in profits for Q2 but anticipates it will spend “the entirety of that $4 billion, and perhaps a bit more” on providing personal protective equipment for staff and higher wages for hourly workers, as well as improving sanitation at facilities and building its own testing capacity.