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Amazon yesterday announced what it is calling "Prime Early Access Sale," described as
"a new two-day global shopping event exclusive to Prime members. The event begins October 11 at 12 a.m. PDT and runs through October 12 in 15 countries: Austria, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, the UK, and the U.S."

The promotion is in addition to the annual Prime Day promotion that it ran last July, during which, it said, customers bought more than 300 million items.

"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, in a prepared statement.

Amazon said in its announcement that "Prime Early Access Sale gives members a chance to kick off the holiday shopping season early with hundreds of thousands of deals. As part of the new deals event, Amazon is introducing a Top 100 list of some of the season’s most popular and giftable items. New deals from the list will drop throughout the event, offering deep savings across all top categories, including electronics, fashion, home, kitchen, pets, toys, and Amazon devices. Holiday gift guides and Amazon’s Toys We Love list will also make it easier for Prime members to discover, shop, and save on deals this holiday season."

The move seems likely to generate significant sales for Amazon during the all-important fourth quarter, when Amazon traditionally generates much of its annual volume.

This isn't the first time Amazon has had a Q4 Prime Day event; in 2020, it moved its annual Prime Day to the fourth quarter because of disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

KC's View:

This is yet more evidence that we're in for a competitive holiday shopping season, with retailers loaded down with extra merchandise doing everything they can to unload it and drive traffic and sales during Q4.  Walmart and Target already have said they're going to launch their holiday sales early, and Amazon has just upped the ante.

The question is how consumers will respond - they'll be tempted by all these bargains, but the fact remains that cash is going to be tighter during the coming few months.