Amazon’s 7th annual “Prime Day” launched on Monday, June 21. The two-day event features discounts in pretty much every retail category, making it the largest shopping event from Amazon – often surpassing combined sales from Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Coronavirus shutdowns are still affecting the supply chain
In 2020, Amazon postponed Prime Day from the early summer to mid-October. The company cited the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic downturn among its reasons for delaying the coveted sales event.
While Prime Day’s return to the summer calendar appears to be a sign of progress, new challenges are arising, and sellers aren’t enthused. Many worry they may run out of stock before the sales event is over.
“[Prime Day] is coming as the retail industry is grappling with widespread supply chain issues that are making it more challenging to stock stores and distribution centers and keep up with consumer demand,” writes Annie Palmer, CNBC News Associate.
Many supply chains are being hit with the cascading effects of last year’s coronavirus shutdowns. Due to labor and shipping equipment shortages, businesses are struggling to address the backlogs in their systems.
A new COVID-19 outbreak further complicates Prime Day
A new COVID-19 outbreak in China’s southern province of Guangdong adds another stressor: global shipping complications. The outbreak has severely limited the capacity in the Yantian International Container Terminal, affecting shipping times for Amazon sellers who import their goods from China.
According to Jonathan Gold, Vice President of Supply Chains and Custom Policy for the National Retail Federation (NRF), the unique combination of issues is responsible for increased time and cost across the global supply chain.
“It’s not just one sector that’s being harmed as a result,” said Gold in a recent interview with CNBC. “Everyone is hurt because of it.”