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Amazon ups the ante on Prime Day—and takes it into brick-and-mortar

Amazon it taking Prime Day to a new level, giving consumers more time — and places — to snag deals.

The online giant’s fourth annual sales event kicks off on Monday, July 16 at 12 EST and will run through July 17. Spanning 36 hours, it will be the longest Prime Day event to date, topping last year’s sale by six hours.

In another first, Amazon will bring Prime Day into the physical space. Leveraging its recent acquisition of Whole Foods Market, the online retailer will offer Prime members an additional 10% off hundreds of sale items throughout Whole Foods stores, and deep discounts on select popular products. Amazon Prime Rewards Visa card members will also earn 10% back at Whole Foods during the sales event, up to $400 in purchases, according to the company.

Prime Day will also reach more international customers this year. In addition to enabling shoppers in the U.S., the U.K., Canada, Mexico, Spain, Japan, Italy, India, Germany, France, China, Canada, Belgium and Austria to participate, Amazon is opening the sale to Prime members in Australia, Singapore, Netherlands and Luxembourg.

To build excitement, Amazon is rolling out early deals on Tuesday, July 3, including a steep $100 discount on its Alexa-enabled screen device, the Echo Show, as well as deals on its private-label merchan-dise across apparel, furniture and essentials. Prime members can also snag early deals on entertainment, gaming, Kindle readers and e-books.

While the company is not sharing specific prices, Amazon is promising its “biggest discounts yet” on Amazon devices including Echo, Fire TV and Fire tablets, during the sales event. It will also feature deals in new categories like home security, as well as across TVs, smart home, kitchen, grocery, toys, fashion, furniture, appliances and back-to-school supplies, and everyday essentials.

The sale will also showcase exclusive special-edition products. For example, the Alexa-enabled Delta Trinsic Touch2O voice-activated faucet, and the 64 GB Moto G6 Android smartphone, will be available to Prime members for a limited time during the event.

To set the tone for the shopping extravaganza, the online giant is shipping huge Amazon’s signature Smile logo boxes to major cities worldwide, including New York City, Los Angeles, London, Tokyo and Milan. Each container will host “surprise entertainment events,” revolving around the benefits of Prime memberships, including music, video, gaming, among other perks, said Jeff Wilke, Amazon CEO Worldwide Consumer.

“Prime Day keeps growing, and it shows no sign of stopping in 2018,” said Casey Gannon, VP of marketing, Shopgate, a mobile commerce platform provider.

“Part of the reason for its success is because Amazon’s mastered customer retention with its growing number of paying subscribers,” Gannon added. “Shoppers feel compelled to shop more if a loyalty program is offered, making it a great way to stay competitive and en-courage customers to keep coming back.”
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