retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Walmart is saying, in essence, that it doesn't need to respond specifically to Amazon's Prime Day promotion this week because it is already primed to offer superior deals to consumers.

According to CNBC,  "The big-box giant, like other retailers, has typically thrown its own overlapping sales event. Yet this year, much of its merchandise is already on sale.

"Bright yellow 'Clearance' signs have become a fixture in many stores in recent weeks, and its website is touting thousands of Rollbacks, a signature term for the discounter’s 90-day price cuts, on bicycles, air fryers and more.

However, "While Walmart is skipping the flashy marketing and short-term sales event, discounts will be plentiful for shoppers who hit its stores."

CNBC points out that "some retailers are still pressing ahead with sales events that coincide with Prime Day. Target is hosting Deals Days, a three-day event from Monday to Wednesday with discounts on thousands of items across every category from electronics to beauty. Best Buy is having a Black Friday in July Sale with deals on laptops, TVs, smartphones and more from Monday to Wednesday. And Macy’s kicked off its Black Friday in July event on Thursday and it will run through Wednesday, with specials in store and online on apparel, accessories, beauty and home."

KC's View:

Walmart may be skipping the "flashy marketing," but that doesn't mean it is above a little aggressive emailing.  At least, that is my presumption, having received the following email from the retailer this morning…

It has been interesting to listen to the radio in the car over the past week or so, as a number of national and local retailers advertise the degree to which they are offering prime sales.  I suppose this is smart to some degree … they are like remoras, existing in the shadow of a larger fish and taking advantage of its momentum.

I do find myself wondering, however, if the large and small retailers competing for Prime Day attention are blunting Amazon's impact, or adding to it by reinforcing a construct that is Amazon's.

This year may be unique, of course, as expectations for how well Amazon will perform during Prime Day have been tempered by economic realities, even as Amazon may be able to use a strong performance during the promotion more than ever.

Here's how the Financial Times characterizes the moment:

"Amazon is pinning its hopes on a strong Prime Day sales event this year as the $1tn ecommerce giant seeks to rejuvenate slowing sales growth at a time when consumers are cutting back on discretionary spending.

"The two-day event, which runs on Tuesday and Wednesday this week, is forecast to generate sales globally of more than $12.5bn — an increase of 17 per cent from last year, according to research group Insider Intelligence.

"It comes at a critical juncture for Amazon and the broader US retail market as investors scramble to measure the impact of inflation and rising interest rates on consumer spending, as well as the effect of persistent supply chain problems."