Amazon's 'Prime Day' may be delayed until August

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The overwhelmed shipping infrastructure could have made Amazon Prime Day orders much more hard to fulfill.

The 48-hour sale a year ago was Amazon's biggest shopping event ever, larger even than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined according to Amazon, with Prime members buying more than 175 million items during the Prime Day event.

Sales from the 2019 Prime Day event held in mid-July were higher than sales during 2018's Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.

A postponement would also negatively impact Amazon third-party sellers, who participate in Prime Day sales.

Amazon has declined to comment, while Abbott and Thermo Fisher haven't addressed the report so far.

The online retailer is planning to push back Prime Day to August, according to internal meeting notes shared with Reuters. With unemployment in the U.S. nearing its highest point since the Great Depression, it's unlikely that shoppers would be ready to splurge on smart speakers and other non-essential gadgets if the event were to still be held in July.

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The decision to delay it means Amazon will have 5 million extra devices it would have expected to sell sooner, items like its suite of voice-controlled Echo speakers that have been popular orders during the event.

And, with Amazon warehouse and delivery workers protesting the safety of work conditions - and several Amazon employees testing positive for COVID-19 - holding a giant Prime Day celebration of consumerism would likely have exposed Amazon to a sharp backlash.

But with the coronavirus pandemic causing disruption throughout the world, holding the Prime Day sales event in July would have been a massive undertaking for Amazon.

Amazon appeared to be making moves in the right direction, however late they may be, with its recently announced plans to distribute face masks to workers and start undergoing regular employee temperature checks.

A worker in a face mask walks with trucks parked at an Amazon facility while the global coronavirus outbreak continued at Bethpage on Long Island in New York, March 17, 2020.

But the company has also come under scrutiny for its treatment of warehouse workers during the pandemic.

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