Attention, America: Prime Day has reportedly been suspended until further notice because every day is Prime Day now. Following the news that Jeff Bezos has personally amassed $24 billion during the covid-19 pandemic, the Wall Street Journal reports that Amazon’s been moving so much product that it’s scaling back its addiction-based shopping incentives like recommendations in order to get individual shoppers to buy less. Sources tell the Wall Street Journal that Mother’s Day and Father’s Day promotions are kaput and coupons have been withheld. It sounds like an acknowledgment that Amazon not only doesn’t need your money, but it would like you to take at least some of it elsewhere.
It’s unclear precisely how much Amazon has grown since the outbreak of covid-19. According to Reuters, internal meeting notes show that Amazon expects to lose $100 million it would otherwise have made, primarily on devices, from Prime Day, but the company has added 175,000 positions over the past month, and an Amazon employee tells the Journal that the company has been so slammed with hand sanitizer and toilet paper orders alone that they “don’t have the capacity to serve other demand.” Last year, the oft-cited analyst firm eMarketer estimated that Amazon controlled 38 percent of e-commerce in the United States. An eMarketer spokesperson told Gizmodo that the figure will likely be updated in the next month or so, and it’s “too early to tell” whether it will rise. But based on the fact that Amazon temporarily suspended fulfilling orders for many third-party sellers as it prioritized essential items, it’s safe to guess that Amazon is set to conquer.
When asked to comment on the claims in this report, an Amazon spokesperson would only tell Gizmodo that the company does “not have any information to share.”
In an annual shareholder letter published today detailing Amazon’s covid-19 response, Jeff Bezos wrote that “unlike a predictable holiday surge, this spike occurred with little warning, creating major challenges for our suppliers and delivery network.”
Bezos also emphasizes the desire to maybe start regularly testing all workers, although there’s no clear plan for how the company might obtain tests at that volume during a debilitating shortage and scale up its existing limited laboratory to process tests in a timely enough fashion for them to effectively stop the spread of the virus that’s officially infected workers at 74 of its facilities.
And just after the company fired workers who’ve protested and attempted to organize, Bezos adds that of the new hires include a preschool teacher, whom Amazon is “happy” to have “until she can return to the classroom.”
Amazon is shoring up to once again furnish us with discounted home assistants and sex toys on a one-day turnaround, but there is still time. Grab your money and run, in socially-distant formation, to your nearest local online retailer.