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Amazon Prime Day Spurs Retailers to Dish Out the Deals

Amazon Prime Day is nearly here and once again the e-commerce behemoth is planning a bonanza of deals—this time across 36 hours, which is six more than in 2017.

Now in its fourth year, Prime Day is forcing all retailers to try to get in on a shopping holiday that effectively kicks off the back-to-school shopping season.

This year’s Prime Day event will run from 3 p.m. EST on July 16 through the close of July 2017. Amazon said the event will offer more the 1 million global deals available to Prime members in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, The Netherlands, Singapore, Spain, the U.K., and the U.S. In addition to markdowns on popular products across fashion, furniture, back-to-school, toys, smart devices, electronics and kitchen appliances, members can also access deals from small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) selling via Amazon Handmade, Amazon Exclusives and Amazon Launchpad. The company said shoppers ordered 40 million items from SMBs on Prime Day last year.

“Amazon’s announcement that Prime Day will extend to 36 hours beginning at 3pm EST on July 16, ratchets up the pressure on all of retail, with ‘counter measures’ sure to negatively impact margins throughout the sector,” Charlie O’Shea, Moody’s lead retail analyst, said in a statement.

Indeed, with shoppers embracing Prime Day’s onslaught of deals, other retailers are capitalizing on the renewed interest in mid-July shopping by responding with offers of their own. eBay, for example, is offering “thousands” of deals on new products across myriad categories starting the week of July 16, and all with shipping on the house. “eBay has everything you need this season, and no one else can match eBay’s variety and value, which fuel our shoppers’ passions with deep discounts on the latest must-have items,” Scott Cutler, eBay’s senior vice president, Americas, said.

Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods adds another element to Prime Day this year. The company said shoppers who purchase at least $35 worth of 365 Everyday Value goods on will receive a 30 percent discount. Canadian members will get $10 off $50+ purchases when they shop in Whole Foods store on Prime Day.

In the coming days, other retailers will likely announce their own shopping events around Prime Day.

“More so than ever, we expect other retailers to roll out a heavy dose of promotions ahead, during, and after Prime Day in hopes of attracting shoppers and dollars, with some of the more challenged retailers facing the tough decision of how low to go,” O’Shea said.