Amazon pitches early holiday shopping as part of "Prime Day" event
The top e-commerce company, Amazon commenced 48 hours of promotions on Tuesday as part of its "Prime Day", a closely watched marketing event which the company had postponed due to operational challenges resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.
The event which usually holds July in the bid to boost summer sales is now a kick-off to what will be an earlier holiday shopping season, Reuters reports.
The member-only discounts are the primary way through which Amazon markets "Prime" which is its fast-shipping and media-streaming service that incentivises subscribers to shop on Amazon.
It is also reported that competitors, Walmart and Target Corp are hosting promotions in the same period. Online sales might be critical for sellers as the pandemic hinders the usual crowds at stores after the United States Thanksgiving holiday.
At the onset of the pandemic, Amazon focused on shipping essential items to shoppers. Now, it has shifted its focus to helping customers with their holiday lists on Prime Day, Jamil Ghani, the company's vice president said.
"It kicks off the holiday season", Ghani told Reuters.
Amazon is set to bring the event to Brazil and Turkey for the first time. In Latin America, the e-commerce company has also faced challenges with local rivals.
A report by the news site, Reveal said the week Amazon had its Prime Day event last week was the most dangerous for injuries at Amazon's fulfilment centres thus prompting criticism by the prominent Retail Wholesale and Department Store Union.
"Amazon's Prime Day means more injuries and unacceptable levels of stress for its workforce", Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union said.
"During normal times, it's a gruelling period for workers. During a global pandemic it may push workers beyond their limit", he added.
Amazon, however, disputed the claims, saying that the performance expectations and injury rates of its employees' are not higher during the holiday season. "The safety of our employees is our top priority", it said in a statement.
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