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How big retailers have tried—and failed—to replicate Amazon's Prime Day boom: Data

Prime Day is no longer just an Amazon (AMZN) affair.

Whole Foods—which is owned by Amazon—may be poised to get a big boost from the e-commerce giant’s annual sales bonanza that takes place on July 15-16, new data suggests.

However, brick-and-mortar retail competitors trying to mimic the Prime Day effect with deals of their own are falling short of the mark.

Analytics firm Placer.ai crunched retail traffic data, and found that Whole Foods has become integral to Amazon’s Prime Day strategy. Last year, the upscale grocer saw a surge in visitors lured in by special discounts that ran for seven days, as opposed to the 3 days of Prime sales.

“Visits on the sale Sunday rose 26.8% above the baseline for the time between June and September of 2018, making it the most successful day for visits in the period,” Placer.ai’s analysts found.

“Additionally, the sale Saturday visits of Prime Day week rose 22.4% above the baseline, making it the most successful Saturday for the period,” Placer.ai said.

Moreover, Amazon’s move to integrate Whole Foods offers with online Amazon.com deals appeared to pay off.

“This comprehensive strategy is reminiscent of brands like Starbucks (SBUX), who run integrated campaigns throughout the year to drive multiple goals with each event,” Placer.ai noted.

Top brands can’t quite compete

The buzz around Prime Day has prompted brick-and-mortar retailers to try and replicate their own versions — something that Placer.ai found didn’t quite hit the mark.

Amazon competitors like Walmart, Best Buy and Target struggled to achieve the same success as Amazon/Whole Foods, the firm’s analysis found—primarily because none of them were able to use online deals to boost in-store shopping.

Retailers “increased their focus to try and take advantage of the Prime Day tailwinds. While they did so to varying degrees of success, few dove into the offline opportunity that Amazon built through Whole Foods,” Placer.ai said.

In fact, Walmart saw a weekend output that failed to mark a high point for the summer. To make matters worse, its Monday- Thursday outputs during its run of special offers were all below the baseline for this period, according to Placer.ai.

The outcome was a similar outcome for Target, which saw peak summer activity arrive after its Deal Days.

Best Buy saw the worst outcome, as the big-box retailer’s summer weekends actually hit a low during the week of Prime Day, but improved in the weeks that followed.

The Amazon-Whole Foods nexus “builds up a new and interesting front to monitor in 2019’s version of Amazon’s sales event,” Placer.ai stated.

It asked: “Can Whole Foods continue to drive increased engagement around the digital extravaganza? Will other top retailers with strong omni-channel approaches look to sync up their efforts?”

This post originally published on July 2.

Donovan Russo is a writer for Yahoo Finance. Follow him @Donovanxrusso.

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