As the saying goes, lightning never strikes in the same place twice. But when you’re the world’s largest marketplace, the rules don’t always apply.
Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) seems to think it’s captured that lightning in a bottle. After another electric Prime Day sale that saw consumers pour billions of dollars into the e-commerce giant, Amazon on Monday introduced the Prime Early Access Sale, a two-day event that resembles Prime Day in everything but name. It’s the first time the company is hosting two such events in the same year.
Much like the company’s marquee sale, Prime Early Access will feature Black Friday-style deals exclusive to Prime members. The sale will run from Oct. 11-12 in 15 countries, including the U.S., U.K., China, Germany, France, Spain and Italy.
“We are so excited to help Prime members kick off the holiday season with Amazon’s new Prime Early Access Sale — an exclusive opportunity for members to get deep discounts on top brands we know they are looking for this time of year,” said Jamil Ghani, vice president of Amazon Prime.
Of course, Amazon doesn’t shy away from early offers, even before an event called Prime Early Access.
Starting Monday, Prime members can access a four-month free trial of Apple Music, while nonmembers can receive three months free. Members can also receive an Amazon Echo Dot for 99 cents with a one-month subscription to Apple Music Unlimited.
Prime customers are also eligible for a one-year free trial of Grubhub+, the food delivery app’s premium subscription service. Benefits of the plan include unlimited free delivery on orders over $12 as well as exclusive offers and rewards. And starting this Friday, members can buy or rent titles on Amazon Prime Video for up to 50% off.
Ghani would not reveal whether Amazon plans to run a second Prime Day-like event moving forward. But if the deal is successful in helping the e-commerce giant capture a bigger slice of the holiday sales pie, then there are few reasons not to expect a repeat event.
Watch: Amazon allowing sellers to use warehouses
Amazon certainly has the capacity to handle two massive sales per year. The company has come under scrutiny in recent months for what observers are calling an overbuild of warehouse space. As of the beginning of September, it had closed, canceled or delayed the openings of 66 facilities, according to supply chain consultancy MWPVL.
However, a second Prime Day could help Amazon find a use for all of that extra space. In fact, the e-commerce giant is currently building several multimillion-square-foot megawarehouses. And in July, MWPVL predicted that the company will open 250 more facilities in 2022 alone — including 21 large, multistory warehouses, which are considered a rarity in industrial real estate.
Experts and analysts often cite Amazon’s overbuild as a reason for concern, pointing out that paying for all that unused space is putting a dent in the marketplace’s profits. But having too much capacity is a good problem to have. With an event like Prime Early Access, Amazon could artificially juice up the volume flowing through its network to keep its facilities full.