Does Amazon Prime Day deliver for investors? It's complicated

Amazon Prime Day Sale July 15 16 2019

Amazon's "Prime Day" will be a 48-hour event this year.

Amazon Prime Day sale is just around the corner (July 15), and this is the flawless time for those who have not subscribed to Amazon's Prime subscription to go ahead and do just that. The sales include "things shoppers actually want", according to eBay - like a Dyson cordless vacuum, Sony noise-canceling headphones, clothes and Samsung TVs. eBay will be updating the deals throughout the sale.

Amazon's primary rival Walmart has joined forces with Google to offer pre-Prime Day deals on a range of smart home devices now through July 17. Though the company does not provide sales figures, Amazon said that in 2018 that it sold over 100 million products with over $1.5 billion in sales by third-party sellers. For instance, in 2015 and 2017, Amazon shares outperformed the S&P 500 (^GSPC) in the five trading days before Prime Day, one day before and five days following.

The high-end department store hasn't shown any intention of jumping into a direct competition with Amazon, but its two-week annual summer sale event will come on the heels of Prime Day this year, running from July 19 to month-end.

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It's available to watch for a limited time only, and if you missed the live show because you were in bed sleeping like a normal person, the on-demand version will "include select songs from each performance", and comes in at around two and a half hours. However, Amazon underperformed the broader market every year in the one day following the event. Since the beginning of Amazon Prime day four years ago, Amazon shares have soared an impressive 353%, while the S&P gained a more modest 56%. Amazon's Prime membership in India is relatively more reasonable and offers many benefits.

The resemblance between Target's Deal Days marathon and the 2019 Amazon Prime Day festival are striking and pretty much impossible to ignore, but just like eBay, Target is embracing and even inviting comparisons, highlighting its biggest advantage over the competition.

Heidi Chung is a reporter at Yahoo Finance.

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