Amazon is starting to sound like a used car salesman shouting “deals, sales, shop now” from the top of its lungs on the curb of a busy freeway. The company is hinting to sellers it could stage another big shopping holiday later this year to mirror its summer Prime Day in an effort to draw customers back for more online shopping in an effort to shore up slumping sales.
Insider first reported that the company had issued notices to sellers about a so-called “Prime Fall Deal Event.” Amazon merchants were asked to recommend sales called “Lightning Deals” by July 22, though another message reportedly put the deadline for early September. The messages were reportedly viewed on the company’s internal seller portal.
The new event could be scheduled for October, according to reports that cited those invited Amazon retailers. Insider reported that even with a different name, this new event will feature major hot-ticket item product sales similar to the regular Prime Day and offer discounts of at least 20% for merchandise.
The regular 2022 Prime Day will take place July 12 and 13. The shopping holiday is one of Amazon’s major yearly pushes to get people to fork over $139 per year to get a Prime account. The company is well known for pushing its yearly subscription to get that sweet two-day shipping, to the point that the Federal Trade Commission recently scrutinized Amazon’s alleged manipulative tactics.
The company is very protective of its Prime memberships as one of its biggest ways to keep customers coming back. Earlier this month, the company railed against antitrust legislation making its way through congress, saying it could reduce the value of its prime memberships.
But the company isn’t doing as hot as it once was, similarly to many tech companies who are still struggling in a post-pandemic slump after a major boom in 2020 and 2021. Amazon reported a net loss of $3.8 billion in its April Q1 earnings report.
Sellers are reportedly less on board with Amazon’s plans as the company might wish. Insider quoted Tom Baker, a consultant for Amazon merchants through his agency FordeBaker, who said sellers have been given very few details about what this event even is. This sales extravaganza will require businesses to make major inventory decisions in just a few weeks.
Though what hasn’t been mentioned is just how much stress the regular Prime Day puts on warehouse employees and delivery drivers, and whether yet another Prime Day could push working conditions over the edge.
Amazon did not respond to Gizmodo’s request for comment about the reported new shopping holiday. When asked about how the company was easing the burden of workers during Prime Day, Amazon spokesperson Branden Baribeau said “the safety and well-being of our employees is always a top priority.” He added that they were “investing hundreds of millions in safety” training and tech with a team of “more than 8,000" safety officers to assist workers.
Reports from previous years have shown workers who already experience high-stress days at Amazon Fulfillment Centers get it even worse on Prime Day. Workers went as far as to strike against the harsh working conditions before the retail giant’s big shopping holiday. Before Prime Day in 2019, workers reported doing 12-hour days and forced extra work days with no additional compensation over regular overtime pay. CNN quoted Amazon workers last year who said they were doing 55-hour weeks for Prime Day. The effects of the two-day sale usually mean more work for weeks after sales are complete.