Target Is Starting Its Own Goddamn Prime Day, OK?

Photo: Bill Sikes (AP)

If there are those among you who have thought to yourselves, “Boy—the number of corporate faux-holidays devoted entirely to trying to get me to buy things is one too few,” then congratulations: Target is launching its own damn version of Prime Day.

According to a Target press release, “Target Deal Days” is set to launch on July 15-16, which is coincidentally exactly the same days that Amazon’s Prime Day will be running. We’ll spare you Target’s rigmarole about the supposedly great deals customers will receive and the myriad shipping options available—if you really want to, you can look that shit up yourself—but this is a good occasion to note that retailers are trying their best to match Amazon at its own game.

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Earlier this year, Amazon announced it was shifting towards one-day shipping from its default two-day shipping for Prime members, a move criticized by labor unions and workers as potentially worsening work conditions already described as grueling and inhumane by employees and contractors in its sprawling logistics chain. As Marketwatch noted, Amazon’s decision to spend $800 million on the effort in Q2 2019 appeared to be at least partially motivated by other retailers who have moved aggressively into e-commerce like Target and Walmart.

Some analysts were skeptical that this strategy will work out for those competitors, Marketwatch wrote, noting that they may simply end up pouring resources into a never-ending, hopeless battle with Amazon’s economies of scale. Nevertheless, Target itself has rolled out free two-day shipping and other speedy pickup and delivery options, as well as introduced same-day shipping options via its (almost certainly outclassed) subsidiary Shipt. Other competitors like Shopify are aiming to build their own fulfillment networks in an effort to claim a piece of Amazon’s dominance of e-commerce, which eMarketer estimated earlier this year to be approximately 38 percent of all online sales in the states.

In other words, the Amazon model is metastasizing. God help us all.

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Tom McKay

"... An upperclassman who had been researching terrorist groups online." - Washington Post