More Retailers Hope to Take a Bite Out of Amazon Prime Day

on Jul10

10 July 2017 | 2:12 pm

Amazon’s annual Prime Day kicks off Monday night, but the online superstore isn’t the only retailer hoping to capture your business during a regularly sleepy month for retail.

Stores such as Toys”R”Us, Target, Sur La Table and more are jumping on the bandwagon, hoping to take a swing at Amazon by staging their own versions of this summer twist on Black Friday, which for Amazon runs from 9 p.m. July 10 to the early hours of July 12.

Unlike Amazon’s sales event, these retailers are opening their deals to anyone, not just subscribers. It will pay to comparison shop; keep multiple tabs open to find the best deal.

“July is not a traditional shopping window,” said Mark Cohen, director of retail studies at Columbia Business School. But, he said, Amazon has “called the party and invited all sorts of people who might not otherwise be interested in shopping in July.”

Amazon wasn’t giving shoppers a window into most of its Prime Day deals until Sunday, and Toys”R”Us and Babies”R”Us was following a similar strategy. They’ll announce details of their site-wide discounts Monday, said Joseph Contrino, spokesperson for Toys”R”Us, via email.

Best Buy will also have a sale, but won’t yet share more information, said Boua Xiong, Best Buy spokesperson, via email.

“That’s a strategic move on the retailer’s part,” said Henry Fonvielle, president of Rappaport, a retail leasing managing and acquisition company focused on the D.C.-area market. “If they announce what they’re doing ahead of time, Amazon will outprice them before they go live. It’s also creating a sense of discovery, that sense of ‘ah ha, I’ve found this.'”

Sears is promoting a Summer Splash event, boasting deals online only on Monday and Tuesday — the same time span as Prime Day — all with free shipping, said Brian Hanover, spokesperson for Sears. The store is also discounting clothes, mattresses, tools and bikes Monday through Saturday.

Kitchenware store Sur La Table will introduce a one-day shopping event called Lime Day, launching July 10. The tagline: Get primed for Lime Day. The day will feature more than 300 items on sale for up to 75 percent off, according to its Facebook advertisement.

Others are jumping in on the action:

  • Target is offering “season-long low prices” on back-to-school items, with specifics available in their circular, said Target spokesperson Shandra Tollefson. The deals began Sunday.
  • Newegg, an online tech retailer, will launch the Fantastech sale beginning Tuesday at 12 a.m. PDT.
  • Macy’s promoted up to 70 percent off clearance items with a one-day sale last Friday and Saturday.

With Prime Day, Amazon is “going to take all the legacy retailers down the rabbit hole with them, who will have to compete in price,” Cohen said.

Consumer interest might drive sales for retailers trying to compete with Prime Day, but the added volume may not translate into profit, Cohen said. Brick-and-mortar stores can offer high-quality value, service, convenience and quality to keep customers loyal, Fonvielle said.

“The reason why there’s the gold rush is because the people that get the largest market share are going to ultimately going to lead the next evolution of retail sales,” Fonvielle said.

Amazon, however, benefits twofold from Prime Day, Cohen said. They sell both product and subscriptions, generating loyal customers who are likely to return to Amazon to use their Prime memberships in the future — including during the holiday season.

“Amazon is doing this and everyone is paying attention because they’re not used to it,” Cohen said. “This is a new toy to play with.”

Published 13 minutes ago | Updated 1 minute ago



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