Amazon to hold second Prime Day sale in October in appeal to deal-hungry shoppers

Amazon's "Prime Early Access Sale" will feature exclusive offers to Prime members in 15 countries. PHOTO: REUTERS

SEATTLE - Amazon.com will hold a second Prime Day sale on Oct 11 and Oct 12 to boost sales among cost-conscious consumers who are expected to start their holiday shopping even earlier this year.

This marks the first time the e-commerce giant has hosted the event twice in the same year.

Retailers are bracing for a lacklustre holiday that will require deep discounts to move a glut of inventory. Many consumers, meanwhile, are planning to cut back because higher food and fuel costs have left them with less to spend.

More than one-third of consumers said they would begin their holiday shopping in October or earlier, according to a survey by Bankrate.com.

Amazon's "Prime Early Access Sale" will feature exclusive offers to Prime members in 15 countries.

Amazon's two-day Prime Day promotion in July boosted online spending in the United States by 8.5 per cent to US$11.9 billion (S$17.1 billion), according to Adobe.

Amazon said it sold more than 300 million items over the two days, more than any previous Prime Day.

The Seattle-based company launched Prime Day in 2015 to attract new subscribers who now pay US$139 a year in the US for shipping discounts, video streaming and other perks. The event helps Amazon lock in shoppers before the holidays and deepen its relationship with existing customers by offering them deals on Amazon gadgets and other goods.

This year, US online sales will rise just 9.4 per cent to US$1 trillion, the first time growth has slipped into the single digits, according to Insider Intelligence, which in June lowered an earlier annual forecast. Spending on Amazon will hit US$400 billion, up 9 per cent and slower than the overall industry, the research firm says. BLOOMBERG

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