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Amazon's (AMZN) Prime Day may see its global sales surge 43% this year, driven by new membership sign-ups and shoppers eager for holiday deals, according to a forecast from eMarketer released on Monday.
Prime Day, which typically happens mid-July ahead of the back-to-school season, kicks off at midnight PT on Oct. 13 and runs through Oct. 14.
The research firm forecasted that the internet giant’s fifth annual two-day shopping event could spark worldwide sales just shy of $10 billion, up from the $6.93 billion posted last year. This year’s bonanza takes place as the COVID-19 outbreak continues to wallop the global economy, but the event's later timing is also likely to push sales.
"Amazon Prime Day this year will be unlike any other since its debut five years ago. Against the backdrop of a pandemic and recessionary headwinds, this year's event promises significant changes that will shake up the entire retail landscape heading into the holidays," wrote Andrew Lipsman, eMarketer's principal analyst.
The late start to Prime Day “will result in a different focus: de-emphasizing products for summer and back-to-school, and making the event an early lead-in to the holiday season," Lipsman added.
Traditionally, the event has been a major driver for Prime membership, eMarketer pointed out, creating a virtuous cycle in which new members push Amazon’s sales even higher. The firm predicted that U.S. Prime members will reach 142.5 million in 2020 — an increase of 14.9%, representing more than half of the U.S.’s population.
This year's online shopping bonanza will feature more than one million deals, with a focus on the holiday season by touting popular gifts such as TVs, electronics, home, and toys.
Shares of Amazon were last trading near $3,356, up 2.11%, or $69.35, in the pre-market.
Julia La Roche is a Correspondent for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter.