Amazon Prime Day has been scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 13, after the usual date in July was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Amazon's self-imposed shopping holiday has become a global event for customers and employees, and will be all the more important now that social distancing is making in-person shopping harder to do. The company has not officially announced the new date yet, but sources within the company told CNET that it will be on Oct. 13.
Amazon has reportedly blacked out vacation requests for warehouse workers between Oct. 13 and Oct. 20 in preparation for Prime Day — a Black Friday-like day of sales and savings. For the last few years, Amazon Prime Day has come in July, but it was delayed this year because of COVID-19 outbreaks all over the world. The pandemic impacted Amazon's employees and workflow, and also forced the company to prioritize "essential" sales over other products.
An Amazon spokesperson declined to comment on the leaked Prime Day date when asked by CNET reporters. They said: "Stay tuned for more details on Prime Day. Customers can also say, 'Alexa, keep me posted on Prime Day.'"
Amazon typically uses Prime Day as a way to boost sales during the slow summer months for the retail industry, but this new October date will likely make it more of an early Black Friday. The company also usually highlights its own proprietary items during this time — particularly tech like Amazon Echo, Amazon Fire TV and Amazon Fire Tablets. This year will be no different, as Amazon has scheduled its annual fall product launch for Thursday, Sept. 24.
So far, it is unclear how long the Prime Day sales will last. They have expanded in past years to go for 36 hours, then 48 hours, but the coronavirus limitations may still be weighing on the company. While online shopping demands increase due to social distancing, Amazon's usual methods for staffing warehouses are of no use, since they must adhere to strict protective measures for all staff on the job.
Amazon has come under fire for putting pressure on employees through the coronavirus pandemic and has faced many attempts by employees to unionize. The company famously fired one outspoken employee from a Staten Island fulfillment center, Christian Smalls, claiming that he broke the coronavirus rules that he himself begged for them to instate. The company has continued to do steady business in spite of the general slowing of the U.S. economy over the last six months.