Amazon Prime Day kind of ho hum for local retailers

E-commerce giant Prime Day sale runs Monday and Tuesday

Amazon’s Prime Day does not seem to have made much of an impression on local retailers.

The online retailer’s fifth annual Prime Day — now spread over Monday and Tuesday — was dreamed up as a gimmick to boost sales during the summer lull.

But unlike Black Friday, which has caught on across the retail spectrum, Prime Day does not seem to have generated the same enthusiasm among smaller retailers, based on a small local sampling.

Red Deer Downtown Business Association executive director Amanda Gould has not heard a peep from member businesses about Prime Day.

“It’s never come up with any conversations I’ve had with businesses,” said Gould, who said her best guess is it is not even on local retail radar screens.

Lorna Watkinson-Zimmer, who owns Comforts the Sole at 4812 50th Ave., said she sees no need to promote her own matching sale to Prime Day.

“I don’t go there,” said Watkinson-Zimmer, who sells Birkenstock shoes among other lines of footwear and clothing geared to comfort. “We’re all about service.”

Her customers are looking to try on shoes and clothing to check out their style and fit, something you can’t do if you’re ordering online.

While some people are satisfied with their sight-unseen purchases, many others find the fit isn’t what they hoped for and end up sending them back to the online retailer, she said.

Those who think that buying online automatically means goods are cheaper may also find they’re wrong. Watkinson-Zimmer has had plenty of customers telling her the local price was better than ones they saw posted elsewhere.

Last year, Amazon, the Seattle-based e-commerce giant, said it sold 100 million products worldwide during Prime Day.

The sale is also meant to pump up interest in Amazon’s Prime service, which offers two-day delivery, free streaming movies and other perks.

But retail watchers caution that Prime Day deals are not necessarily the best deals of the year. Black Friday weekend sales are sometimes a better bet, depending on the type of product you are looking for, especially for TVs or video gaming-related products.

Back-to-school sales can be better options for those shopping for laptops, said a U.S. News and World Report.

Some major retailers have gone head to head with Amazon. Best Buy, EBay, Target are among those to roll out their own sales.

– With files from The Canadian Press

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