Amazon Cancels 2021 Prime Day in Canada due to the Pandemic

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Seattle-based e-commerce retailer Amazon confirmed with Retail Insider this week that the popular Amazon Prime Day is formally cancelled in Canada this year. It follows Amazon’s having already delayed the event due to the pandemic. Prime Day is expected to return to Canada in 2022 as more Canadians are vaccinated and things return to a degree of normalcy. 

Amazon provided a statement to Retail Insider on Tuesday: “Due to the impact of COVID-19, we have decided to not move forward with Prime Day in Canada this year while we focus on the health and safety of our employees, customers and selling partners.”

Many had anticipated Prime Day to take place in the fall of 2021 after being delayed from the summer. In the United States, Amazon Prime Day took place over the course of June 21-22nd of this year. 

On Amazon’s Canadian website, the Prime Day page states that it will return with no date given. 

GIF image from Amazon’s Canadian website

In 2020, Amazon moved Prime Day in Canada from July to October due to concerns surrounding the pandemic, including warehouse workers falling ill with the COVID-19 virus. 

This spring, three of Amazon’s distribution facilities in the Greater Toronto Area were mandated to close entirely or in part after some workers tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. Amazon has since come out with a health and safety protocol for its work spaces which include fulfillment centres as well as its offices including regional headquarters in downtown Vancouver and downtown Toronto. 

Amazon had initially told employees of its downtown offices that they were to return to work five-days a week and the decision was recently changed both in the United States and in Canada. Amazon employees will be able to work from home two days per week while in-office work will be mandated for three days a week. Employees can also work remotely for a month in another location within Canada as an extra benefit. 

Amazon does not break down its Canadian sales numbers which are said to be in the billions of dollars annually. The massive retailer has been growing rapidly in this country with increased sales and several recent announcements of new fulfillment centres in major markets. Amazon is also expanding its base of employees at its downtown offices and will eventually move into the 1.1 million square foot office component of the mixed-use development The Post in downtown Vancouver which is being developed by QuadReal. 

The loss of Amazon Prime Day 2021 will not only impact Amazon’s bottom line, it will also affect thousands of vendors in Canada selling through the platform. We recently featured an article interviewing Canadian business owners finding success using the platform.

Article Author

Craig Patterson
Located in Toronto, Craig is the Editor-in-Chief of Retail Insider and President/CEO of Retail Insider Media Ltd. He is also a retail analyst and consultant, Director of Applied Research at the University of Alberta School of Retailing in Edmonton, and consultant to the Retail Council of Canada. He has studied the Canadian retail landscape for over 25 years and he holds Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws Degrees.

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