Amazon promises a ‘million deals’ for Prime Day; Target, others offer sales Monday

Amazon has successfully invented a new shopping holiday, and it’s set to capitalize on the rewards.

The fourth Prime Day (and a half) will begin noon PT (3 p.m. ET) Monday, extending for 36 hours. The savings event this year is running longer than prior years, available for shoppers in more countries, and Amazon is promising a million deals — the most yet — for Prime members.

It’s also the first Prime Day with Whole Foods, Amazon’s most expensive acquisition, integrated under the Jeff Bezos umbrella.

Prime Day means far more to Amazon than a one-day annual marketing play. Sure, Amazon gets to flex its muscles over the retail industry and juice sales numbers. But, more importantly, Amazon uses the savings event to spotlight its own products and hook new members on a subscription program that more than 100 million people around the world count as an indispensable part of their shopping lives.

Amazon doesn’t disclose revenue from previous Prime Days, but it’s predicted to reach $3.4 billion this year, according to retail think tank Coresight Research. Sales for the event are projected to shatter last year’s total by 40% and become Amazon’s new single day record, breaking its 2017 Cyber Monday haul. Whole Foods will be the biggest change to the 2018 show.

Prime Day has forced Amazon’s rivals to adjust to the frenzy.

Rivals aren’t sitting on their heels: Walmart, for example, debuted new apps and online tools for back-to-school shopping, including a 3D virtual experience called “Buy the Room,” and deals on school supplies. Bed, Bath and Beyond will offer deals as well.

Target also announced a one-day sale to rival Amazon on Tuesday for “everyone—no membership required.”