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Amazon Invests $100M in Holiday Promos Ahead of Prime Day

Amazon’s already getting a head start on Holiday 2020.

The online marketplace is investing an additional $100 million in special Prime Day and other holiday promotions starting now, giving Prime members an early start to the holiday season before the company-exclusive shopping bonanza even gets underway.

The $100 million will support small businesses during Covid-19 and beyond, Amazon said Monday. Prime members who spend $10 on items sold by select small businesses in Amazon’s store now through Oct. 12 will receive a $10 credit to use on Prime Day, which the online marketplace has confirmed will be on Oct. 13-14.

“In the midst of an unprecedented year, we’re committed to making this the most successful Prime Day ever for our small businesses and excited for Prime members worldwide to discover new ways to support local entrepreneurs and save big on everything they need and love,” Jeff Wilke, Amazon CEO Worldwide Consumer, said.

The two-day shopping event will kick off at midnight Pacific Time on Oct. 13. Participating for the first time this year will be Prime members in Brazil and Turkey. Prime members in the U.S., U.K., United Arab Emirates, Spain, Singapore, Netherlands, Mexico, Luxembourg, Japan, Italy, Germany, France, China, Canada, Belgium, Austria and Australia are eligible to participate in the 48-hour event.

“Prime members get an early start to a season of savings with deep discounts on holiday must-haves across toys, electronics, fashion, beauty, kitchen, home, [and] Amazon Devices,” the company said.

Prime Day will include more than one million deals globally from top brands that include Panasonic, Under Armour, Coleman, Simple Joys by Carter’s, Adidas, Lacoste and more.

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Prime deals in fashion that are available now include savings of up to 30 percent on select Vineyard Vines clothing for men, up to 15 percent off on select fall fashion from Shopbop, including boots and denim, up to 30 percent on select top trends from premium women’s fashion, up to 30 percent on select kids’ and baby clothing and shoes, and up to 30 percent on select styles from Calvin Klein.

The online marketplace has also extended its Personal Shopper by Prime Wardrobe, its monthly styling services for Prime members, to men’s fashion. The service is now providing customers with curated recommendations for both men’s and women’s fashion from the marketplace’s in-house team of stylists.

In home, Prime members can save up to 20 percent or more on select rugs from brands including nuLoom and Artistic Weavers. There are also savings on select furniture brands, and on home decor items from Martha Stewart.

Throughout Prime Day, Amazon Live will also spotlight deals curated by small businesses across the e-commerce site, with viewers able to hear and learn from business owners more about the items pitched. The re-occurring segments will be labeled as Small Business Showcase.

“In such an unsettled economy, we’ve actually been able to grow our sales with Amazon, allowing us to pay our employees more and pivot quickly when supply chain shortages struck,” Colleen Sundlie, owner of Date Lady in Springfield, Mo., said. “Selling online has helped us stay connected with customers and continue growing our small business despite the challenging times.”

Amazon also plans to create 3,500 jobs in the coming years at its Vancouver and Toronto tech hubs. The company now has more than 21,000 full- and part-time employees across Canada. The new jobs will support business teams across the company, including Alexa, retail and operations technology, and advertising.

Three thousand new jobs will be in Vancouver, where Amazon will expand its physical footprint by more than 680,000 square feet. Development of The Post project, which is aimed at achieving LEED Gold Certification, is on track for completion by 2023.

In Toronto, Amazon will lease 130,000 square feet of space at a new office tower on York Street, adding five floors to accommodate the creation of 500 new jobs, the company said.

The quick start of holiday promotions, even if just for Prime members, mirrors the early sales occurring at many retailers as they spread out the selling season to avoid the last-minute crunch—and risk late order deliveries—anticipated this year with consumers expected to continue to shop online instead of in a physical store. Many are also using special promotions to help clear out in-season merchandise.

Online home decor firm Wayfair last week held its Way Day, while off-pricer T.J.Maxx last week offered a “Send Joy” promotion, asking shoppers to nominate someone via an Instagram tag on why they should be sent a $100 gift card, courtesy of T.J.Maxx. The off-pricers said 25 winners will be chosen at random and will get a direct mail from the company each week. And Saks Fifth Avenue has been offering for a limited time a Friends and Family discount of 25 percent off on purchases of $150 or more, although exclusions apply. Talbots is offering 40 percent off all markdowns and 30 percent off all else, including “new arrivals” comprising of in-season merchandise.