Amazon kicks off Prime Day as big retailers follow early holiday deal trend


INDIANAPOLIS — Christmas has come early this year as big box retailers fight for online sales this holiday season.

“It’s not one day anymore, it’s going to be spread out over time,” said Steven Horwitz, an economics professor at Ball State.

Amazon Prime Day begins Oct. 13, with Target and Walmart following suit with sales days of their own. Horwitz believes this may be the new trend this season.

“I suspect many of those retailers are sitting on some inventory that they still haven’t been able to move as things have been slow,” Horwitz said.

He expects Black Friday sales to start early and last longer. His theory is that stores are trying to limit the exposure of Black Friday rushes in store during the pandemic, and instead replacing it with an elongated sale season. It spreads out maximizes social distancing capabilities without hindering sales profits.

“We already know that places have canceled their traditional Black Friday stuff for precisely those reasons,” Horwitz added. “The uncertainty level is pretty great, so let’s give people that time to make some of these decisions.”

Given the potential of an elongated sale season, he suggests consumers take a targeted, patient approach to holiday deals this year. Just because you don’t have the financial means to strike during sale time, doesn’t mean you may necessarily miss out later in the season. This is especially key for families financially impacted during the pandemic.

When it comes to shopping small and local, Downtown Indy inc. Is working toward a plan for the city. They say some local retailers are contemplating appointment windows for Small Business Saturday as it would allow customer to maintain socially distancing while still getting their shopping done.

“A lot of these small businesses are going to explore, if they can, do some sort of online option for people.”

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