Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) has announced its Prime Day event, which some experts say pulls in more revenue than any other day in the company’s calendar. Estimates for the day, which lasts almost two days, are that revenue could top $10 billion. The hugeness of the figures can be put into context. It is more revenue than Nordstrom Inc. (NYSE: JWN), the old-line national retailer, should register for the entire year.
Prime Day runs from midnight Pacific Time on October 13 through the end of October 14. It covers 19 nations: United States, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Spain, Singapore, Netherlands, Mexico, Luxembourg, Japan, Italy, Germany, France, China, Canada, Belgium, Austria, Australia, Turkey and Brazil. The only people who can participate are Amazon’s 150 million-plus Prime members. However, anyone without a Prime membership can sign up for a free 30-day trial.
Research firm eMarketer forecasts Prime Day sales will reach $9.91 billion, of which $6.17 billion will be in the United States. Last year, Amazon sold 175 million items over Prime Day. That figure could top 200 million this year. Even Amazon faces a delivery challenge at that level, despite its extensive warehouse and sophisticated logistics system. eMarketer principal analyst said, “While demand will be strong, the event will be more difficult to plan for than in previous years.”
The Amazon challenge to traditional retailers peaks on Prime Day. Nordstrom, one of America’s best-known retailers, founded in 1901, has 355 stores in 40 states, including 100 full-line stores in the United States and Canada. It also has 248 Nordstrom Rack stores, two clearance stores and five Nordstrom Local service concepts. Its e-commerce sites include Nordstrom.com, Nordstrom.ca, Nordstromrack.com, HauteLook.com and TrunkClub.com. Nordstrom’s revenue for the second quarter hit $1.9 billion, down from $3.9 billion the year before. Amazon has flourished because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nordstrom barely has hung on financially. It could be yet another retailer Amazon’s national retail market share will bury.
Prime Day’s contribution to Amazon’s revenue is substantial. Total revenue was $88.9 billion in the second quarter. The Prime Day estimate for this year is 11% of that. Amazon says Prime day revenue tops its figure for Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined. These days may be the most critical period for traditional retailers to reach their fourth-quarter numbers.
Prime Day dates back to 2015. Nordstrom by contrast is 120 years old. Say no more.