Amazon will move forward with its annual Prime Day event this year despite the coronavirus wreaking havoc on the global economy and causing walk-outs at some of its warehouses over safety conditions. The event, which occurs every year in July, offers a large number of sales that are exclusively available to Prime subscribers.
Business Insider reports some merchants who sell on Amazon have received emails from the company in recent days stating that it wants sellers to have inventory available for the company to secure as early as March 31, and that sellers should have their deals for Prime Day submitted by April 17.
"All deal inventory should be ready to ship by mid-May to reduce risk of out-of-stock on Prime Day," reads a portion of the email.
Everything's fine — The decision to move forward with Prime Day suggests that Amazon thinks the current situation with the coronavirus pandemic will be improved by July, in which case it wants to make sure it's ready with deals and inventory. There aren't any signs that the situation is getting better, however. On the contrary, it seems like the damage coronavirus is wreaking on the U.S. and the world is only getting worse by the day.
The U.S. now has more confirmed cases than any other country in the world, and more than 2,300 in the country have died from the virus. Virginia, Maryland, and Washington D.C. have all announced mandatory stay-at-home orders that limit any outdoor activity to absolute necessities.
Amazon recently made the decision to prioritize delivery of essential medical equipment — with delivery estimates for non-essential products falling behind by days or weeks — and has been clamping down on price gouging on supplies like face shields. At the same time, Amazon's warehouse workers in Staten Island, New York, walked out this week to protest for better protections, as several employees have tested positive for coronavirus at the facility.
We wish we shared Amazon's optimism that things will be back to normal by July. And we can't blame it for preparing for the best. But we suspect it'll be revising its plans as Prime Day approaches. If nothing else, we don't expect there'll be as much demand for bargains as there usually is considering the state of the U.S. economy.