Amazon Prime Day Shows Just How Hard Inflation Is Hitting Americans

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Frito-Lay’s Variety Pack was the sixth-most-purchased item during Prime Day.

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Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

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Amazon.com’s Prime Day event has officially ended. The top items sold during the sales event show that consumers are in desperate need of a bargain while inflation continues to burn red hot.

Prime Day ran from July 12 to July 13 this year, and Amazon Prime subscribers were able to save on a variety of items on the e-commerce platform, from Fire Sticks to groceries. Amazon (ticker: AMZN) released a statement after the savings event on Thursday, calling this year “the biggest Prime Day event ever,” and noting that Amazon Prime members worldwide saved over $1.7 billion and Amazon Devices sold more units than during any previous Prime Day event.

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But out of everything that was marked down in this year’s sales event, it was household essentials that shoppers bought the most of, according to Numeratora consumer insights and data firm.

Amazon shares were 1.5% higher, at $112.30, in recent trading, after not changing much in response to Prime Day. The stock has fallen 33% in 2022.

According to data from over 4,800 buyer surveys, household essentials were the most-purchased items during Prime Day this year, followed by health and beauty and consumer electronics. This follows what Amazon reported on Thursday: that diapers and wipes from Pampers and The Honest Company (HNST) were among the bestselling items worldwide.

Numerator reported that Frito-Lay’s Variety Pack was the sixth-most-purchased item during Prime Day, after maintaining a place in the top five throughout most of the event. During the event, Dawn Powerwash Dish Soap was on the top five list of items sold. By the end, the top five items sold were all Amazon-branded ones, including Fire TV Sticks, Echo Dot 4th Gens, Blink Cameras and Doorbells, Amazon gift card reloads, and Ring Video Doorbells, Numerator said.

The data for this year’s Prime Day differs from 2021, when health and beauty, consumer electronics, and apparel and shoes were the three-most-purchased categories during the sales event, while household essentials trailed at No. 4, according to Numerator.

So what’s behind the change? The Labor Department reported on Wednesday that the consumer price index climbed 9.1% in June on an annual basis—the highest rate since late 1981. Notably, the cost of groceries is now up 12.2% over the past year, which is the largest annual increase since April 1979.

Some 83% of Prime Day shoppers said that inflation and rising prices influenced their Amazon purchase, according to Numerator.

In a research note earlier this week, JP Morgan analyst Doug Anmuth said that “e-commerce still faces pressures from ongoing supply chain disruption and a tight labor market, along with inflation and slowing consumer discretionary spending, all of which could weigh on [near term] growth and [full year] Profitability.” He projected slower growth in incremental Prime Day revenue “given the challenging macro backdrop.”

Anmuth is bullish on Amazon stock, with an Overweight rating and a $175 price target.

Write to Angela Palumbo at [email protected]

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Credit: www.marketwatch.com /

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