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Prime Day delayed amid coronavirus concerns, Amazon confirms

The annual sale event will happen "later than usual this year."

People anticipating Amazon Prime Day will have to be patient.
Angela Lang/CNET
For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO and CDC websites.

Amazon's annual Prime Day sale has been delayed worldwide, the company confirmed Tuesday, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to sicken millions of people and close down borders.

In a typical year, the Prime Day dates would have been announced in June and the sale would have happened in mid-July, so this official statement is less a surprise than an acknowledgement of reality.

The e-commerce giant said Tuesday that Prime Day in India will take place Aug. 6 and 7 but didn't specify when the sale will happen elsewhere.

"This year we'll be holding Prime Day later than usual, while ensuring the safety of our employees and supporting our customers and selling partners," an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement. "We are excited Prime members in India will see savings on August 6-7, and that members all around the world will experience Prime Day later this year. We look forward to sharing more details soon."

Previous news reports have pegged the start of Prime Day this year to September, then October. If it's held any later than that, it could end up being rolled into holiday season sales, which kick off around Thanksgiving.

Prime Day started as a small affair, but has grown into a hugely influential summer sale that hordes of other retailers join in on to goose their revenues. So still holding the sale should be a benefit not only for Amazon, but other stores, which have been badly harmed by the pandemic, as well as the millions of smaller merchants who sell their wares on Amazon.

Amazon struggled to keep up with the rush of orders during the early weeks of the pandemic, having to institute new safety protocols and shipping restrictions to continue delivering food and basic needs. It's managed to restore some semblance of regular operations since then. Holding Prime Day could help show its customers it's back on stable footing and offer them a reason to keep renewing their subscriptions.

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