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Amazon Prime Day Sequel Shaking Up October

Months after speculation suggested that Amazon might stage a second “Prime Day” in the fall, the tech titan is turning reports into reality.

Amazon will host a new Prime-member exclusive shopping extravaganza ahead of the holidays with the 48-hour Prime Early Access Sale arriving in early October.

The event begins Oct. 11 at 12 a.m. PT and runs through end of day Oct. 12 in 15 countries, including the U.S., the U.K., Canada, Austria, China, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Turkey.

Prime Early Access Sale is offering “hundreds of thousands of deals” to Prime members on brands from Peloton and New Balance to Adidas and Ashley Furniture.

The e-commerce giant also announced a new Top 100 list of some of the season’s most popular gift ideas. New deals from the list will drop throughout the event, offering savings on categories including electronics, fashion, home, kitchen, pets, toys and Amazon devices.

Holiday gift guides and Amazon’s “Toys We Love” list will also make their returns for Prime members to discover, shop and save on deals this holiday season.

“We are so excited to help Prime members kick off the holiday season with Amazon’s new Prime Early Access Sale—an exclusive opportunity for members to get deep discounts on top brands we know they are looking for this time of year,” said Jamil Ghani, vice president of Amazon Prime, in a statement. “And members can start enjoying exclusive Prime benefits and offers now, plus find gift ideas for the family with our holiday gift guides and this year’s Toys We Love list.”

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The toys gift guide features popular toys and games of the holiday season, and includes the Toys We Love list of more than 60 items only available at Amazon from brands, including Hasbro, Disney, Fisher-Price, Bluey and National Geographic.

Another holiday gift guide includes home products from brands like Amazon Basics, Christopher Knight, De’Longhi, iRobot, Shark, Simplehuman and Zinus, the mattress maker currently facing a class-action lawsuit.

In June, a report from Business Insider said Amazon was prepping a new event it was calling “Prime Fall Deal Event.” The report indicated that the company began notifying some of its third-party sellers about Prime Fall through its internal Seller Central portal, asking them to submit promotional “Lightning Deals” by July 22. Participating sellers were required a discount of at least 20 percent off their current prices to join the fall event, the report said.

The launch of an October event comes as retailers are more cautious of the upcoming holiday season amid concerns of a looming recession, with Walmart dialing back seasonal hiring by more than 70 percent.

Ahead of the Prime Early Access Sale announcement, Deloitte projected holiday sales this year to increase between 4 percent and 6 percent in November-to-January timeframe, while AlixPartners forecast a 4 percent to 7 percent increase.

But when Prime Day was moved from its initial July spot to October in 2020 in the heat of the Covid-19 pandemic, it thrust holiday shopping demand earlier in the calendar, and forced Target and Walmart to launch competing shopping events in the same time frame.

In 2021, Prime Day shifted back to the summer, this time in June. The void in the fall led to some to believe a second Prime Day was a realistic scenario.

Mike Scheschuk, chief marketing officer of Jungle Scout, a platform that provides e-commerce data insights to Amazon sellers, said last year in a company report that Prime Day “could eventually become a quarterly event,” if a second Prime Day proved to be successful.

And when the Insider report fist dropped in June, Steve Rowen, managing partner at Retail Systems Research, told Sourcing Journal that he believed this could be the start of multiple Prime Day events per year.

“Why not one a season?” Rowen asked. “I can actually envision a day when this becomes monthly.”

The new event comes as Amazon is restructuring its general logistics operation and industrial real estate network after the company may have over-expanded throughout the pandemic when e-commerce demand surged. The company confirmed in May it is subleasing select warehouses, but hadn’t fully confirmed whether the 10 million in square footage reported by Bloomberg was accurate.

In the first two quarters of 2022, Amazon reported a 99,000 reduction in its headcount, and notably shuttered two delivery stations in Maryland earlier this month.

Meanwhile, Prime members to prep for the October shopping event by setting up personalized deal notifications and creating shopping lists.

Prime members can sign up to receive deal alert notifications related to their recent Amazon searches and recently viewed items by visiting the Prime Early Access Sale event page on the Amazon app between now and the event to create deal alerts. Once Prime Early Access Sale begins, members will receive push notifications on any available deals.

Prime members can also add products to their wish list, cart, or “Save for Later” list. Alexa can notify members up to 24 hours before eligible deals go live on items they’ve added to their lists—and also offer to purchase the deal once it’s available.

Coinciding with the Prime Early Access Sale, Amazon is offering promotions across its content and Grubhub offerings. Starting Sept. 26, Prime members who haven’t yet tried Amazon Music Unlimited can get four months free, while non-Prime members are eligible for three months free. Additionally, subscribers can get a third-generation Echo Dot for 99 cents with a one-month subscription of Amazon Music Unlimited. The offers last until Oct. 12.

And starting Sept. 30, U.S. Prime members can tack on a one-year Grubhub+ membership trial valued at $9.99 per month, at no additional cost to their Prime membership for the first 12 months. This offer includes unlimited, $0 delivery fees on orders over $12, along with exclusive offers and rewards for Grubhub+ members, like free food and order discounts.