Seattle – A flurry of negative social media surrounding today’s Prime Day sales event has prompted a response from Amazon.com.
Reports of system glitches and limited inventory were compounded throughout the day by a seeming avalanche of tweets expressing disappointment in the e-tailer’s selection of flash-sale merchandise.
Representative was @ClevelandChick’s observation. “PrimeDay?” she tweeted. “More like clean out the warehouse day.”
In response, the company released a “Prime Day Update” this afternoon, in which Amazon Prime VP Greg Greeley indicated that members of the affinity program are shopping at record rates, and that “peak order rates have already surpassed 2014 Black Friday.”
“We also sold 1,200 of the $999 TVs in less than 10 minutes,” Greeley said. “And there are thousands more deals coming.”
The TV was Samsung’s 50-inch 4K Ultra HD 3D TV (HU8550 Series) with 4K Video Pack, a discontinued model that retails for about $1,800.
The one-day event, ostensibly staged to mark Amazon’s 20th anniversary, was open to Prime adherents only, suggesting that its main intent was to grow and protect the membership-program motherlode.
It also prompted a rather cantankerous response from Walmart, further fueling the discounter wars.
But whether Amazon achieves Black Friday parity or earns a black eye is secondary, observed New Age Electronics president Fred Towns during a TWICE holiday webinar earlier today. What matters, he argued, is that Amazon, and responding retailers, drew attention to the CE category during the traditional summer doldrums, and that’s a good thing for the industry.