Amazon Prime Day

Online shopping made up nearly 15% of total retail sales so far in 2019, which has meant a brisk business for UPS and other carriers. — AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File

Shoppers eager for a 75% off lightning deal on their favorite toothbrush holder will have to wait a little longer.

Amazon Prime Day, which normally takes place in mid-July, has been postponed. Thanks, coronavirus.

"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," an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement.

The change in consumer behavior during the coronavirus pandemic has benefited Amazon more than any other business -- its stock is up 73% this year, more than all but four S&P 500 companies. As people remain at home, fearful of infection, Amazon has become among the world's most essential services.

Yet that huge uptick in demand has led to shipping delays, shortages and other snafus that Amazon has furiously worked to correct. It hired 175,000 new workers during the pandemic to work at its warehouses to meet demand.

That makes a mega-sales event like Prime Day a lot harder to accomplish safely. Workers have complained about Amazon's safety conditions during the pandemic, although the company has said its protocols keep workers as secure as possible from the virus.

The company said Prime Day will take place "later this year," and it will share more Prime Day details soon.

Prime members in India are in luck, however: Their Prime Day will take place August 6-7, Amazon announced. Everyone else will have to suck it up.

Prime Day has become a right of summer for millions of Amazon Prime members. It's Amazon's version of Christmas in July, and the sales routinely outpace Black Friday. Amazon has been lengthening Prime Day over the past five years of its existence, officially extending it to two days and offering preview deals weeks before the big event.

The successful sales event has boosted Amazon's sales, for sure. But, more importantly, Prime Day boosts loyalty. The vast majority of the company's offerings on Prime Day are exclusive to Prime members — the $120-a-year subscription that offers customers music, movies, TV shows and free shipping. Prime members remain loyal to Amazon, helping to drive even more sales.


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