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Amazon won't be closed on Thanksgiving
The ecommerce giant is planning a 48-hour Black Friday sale.
Heading into the peak of the holiday shopping season, Amazon is continuing this year's theme of early holiday deals.
The news: The ecommerce giant is set to hold a 48-hour Black Friday sale event. Deals will kick off Nov. 24, which is Thanksgiving, and run through Friday, Nov. 25.
- Millions of deals will be available at a variety of price points. The company listed brands including Moroccanoil, Peter Thomas Roth, Drybar hair care products and De'Longhi Espresso Machines.
- Deals will be available through amazon.com/blackfriday, on the Amazon shopping app, or by asking, “Alexa, what are my deals?”
- Surprise deals will drop every 30 minutes during some periods of the two-day event.
- Early deals, including Deal of the Day, will also be available in the days leading up to the event.
A few takeaways:
Black Friday emphasizes price. A Black Friday sale usually brings discounts, but value and bundling is especially important this year. At a time of elevated inflation, consumers are looking to save money. It was true of Prime Day, and it’s true of the holidays, as well. Amazon specifically called attention to curated lists it has prepared, such as stocking stuffers under $10, gifts for teens under $25 and electronics under $100. Amazon is also offering Prime members the ability to save 25% when they spend $50 on select everyday essentials from Amazon brands through the Stock Up & Save program. This is designed to help prepare for holiday events.
Bucking the Thanksgiving closures trend. From Apple to Walmart, many retailers with physical locations have announced they will be closing their stores for Thanksgiving. But Amazon is sticking with its theme of starting early, and getting Black Friday underway even as turkeys are still in the oven. It comes after Amazon held its first-ever Prime Early Access Sale in October, which was positioned as a holiday kickoff in itself. The Holiday Beauty Haul followed in late October and early November.
Pressure to deliver: The early events underscore how ecommerce can provide flexibility to shoppers, and create multiple moments to deliver holiday deals, as opposed to focusing on a Black Friday doorbuster. But they also come as Amazon faces a more difficult retail environment that is arriving this holiday season with inflation and costs high. The company slashed its revenue outlook for the fourth quarter in its most recent earnings report, with CFO Brian Olsavsky saying the company sees a “slower growth period” on the horizon. The company has also been tightening its belt, and its share price has dropping. It could soon join the ranks of tech companies and retailers making layoffs. On Monday, the New York Times reported that it plans to let go of about 10,000 workers, including many in the retail division, as soon as this week. It all comes as talk of a recession in 2023 continues to loom.“We're very optimistic about the holiday, but we're realistic that there's various factors weighing on people's wallets, and we're not quite sure how strong holiday spending will be versus last year,” Olsavsky told analysts in October. “And we're ready for a variety of outcomes. But we know the consumers when they're looking for good deals, and that positions us well.”
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This Week in Commerce: Nike earnings, Fed rate decision
Check out the agenda for March 20-24.
Welcome to a new week. Earnings offer a bellwether for the consumer economy this week, as key brands like Nike and General Mills will report results. Elsewhere, all eyes will be on the Federal Reserve as it announces its latest decision on interest rates.
Fed interest rate decision: The Federal Reserve Open Markets Committee announces its decision on whether and by how much to hike benchmark interest rates following its two-day meeting. The Fed has been hiking interest rates rapidly in an effort to bring down 40-year-high inflation, but slowed the pace at the February meeting with a 0.25% increase. (March 22, 2 p.m.)
Durable goods orders: The U.S. Commerce Department releases data on orders from manufacturers for goods that are designed to last more than three years. This is considered an indicator of business activity. In January, orders dropped at the steepest rate since April 2020. (March 24, 8:30 a.m.)
Monday, March 20: Boxed, Foot Locker
Tuesday, March 21: Nike, GameStop
Wednesday, March 22: Petco, Chewy
Thursday, March 23: General Mills, Express