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In just a few years, Amazon has established its annual Prime Day sale as a linchpin of the shopping calendar, bringing Black Friday-type deals into the heat of summer for members of the online retail giant's Prime program.
This year, though, even virtual events have to reckon with the effects of COVID-19. With surging demand from stay-at-home shoppers stretching its warehouse capacity and slowing delivery speeds, Amazon has reportedly postponed Prime Day, which typically takes place in July (and in 2019 actually lasted two days).
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That doesn't mean a summer without savings for Prime shoppers — at least for those with an eye on fashion. They can look forward to a more narrowly focused promotion from Amazon called the Big Style Sale.
Amazon observers say the company and its fashion sellers likely have surplus inventory to move after a soft spring for sales due to the coronavirus pandemic. And they may find a ready audience as Americans reopen their wallets and shift more of their shopping online.
The U.S. Census Bureau reported that retail sales jumped 17.7 percent in May, after plunging in the initial months of the outbreak. According to a Statista survey, more than a quarter of U.S. adults have bought clothing on the internet rather than at a store due to the pandemic, and a Morning Consult poll found that the virus has prompted nearly a third of consumers ages 55 to 73 to spend more at online marketplaces.
Amazon has revealed little about the Big Style Sale, saying only that it will happen later in June and “will include seasonally relevant deals from both established and smaller fashion brands.” The company has not announced when the sale will start (although some reports have it kicking off on Monday, June 22), how long it will last or whether it will be confined to Prime members.
"I've been digging around myself and I've found very little information,” says smart-shopping and lifestyle expert Trae Bodge. “I'm so curious to see how it all plays out."
With Amazon being tight-lipped, shopping pros say that it's hard to predict what brands and product categories will offer the biggest finds. But they do have some tips for getting the most bang for your Big Style buck.
1. Plan ahead
Bodge, who heads the consumer advice website True Trae, expects a sprawling sale, running for “at least a week” and featuring “a lot of discounts on clothing, footwear, handbags, jewelry.” Her top tip: Inventory your summer wardrobe ahead of time and map out what you need most.
"There's so much noise when you go on to [Amazon] during a big sale period like this, it can tend to be a bit overwhelming. It's kind of like shopping on Black Friday in the mall,” she says. “You might end up jumping for things you don't necessarily need. Which is why I recommend, if you can, go through your clothes and say, ‘OK, I need these four things.’ “
That's especially important for older consumers, who Bodge says tend to be “a little bit more conservative” and less interested in fast fashion. “They're looking more for that sweater with that cut that's going to last a long time,” she says. “Be honest with yourself about what you need, and look for those pieces specifically."