Amazon plans summer sale for June 22 to 'jumpstart sales' after coronavirus crunch

Key Points
  • Amazon notified sellers early Tuesday that it will host a "summer sale" on June 22, according to a document viewed by CNBC.
  • An Amazon spokesperson confirmed to CNBC that the event will take place later this month. It will include deals from "both established and smaller fashion brands," they added.
  • The company has been working to return its warehouse operations to normal after months of delivery delays and out-of-stock items during the coronavirus outbreak.
Billie Her, a warehouse associate, wraps plastic around a pallet of boxes at Amazon's Fulfillment Center in Thornton, Colorado.
Helen H. Richardson| The Denver Post | Getty Images

Amazon has set a date for its  "Summer Sale" event that's designed to provide a boost for sellers feeling the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic and the delay of the company's annual Prime Day event.

The company sent a notice to sellers early Tuesday informing them that it's hosting a "Fashion Summer Sale Event" on June 22, according to a document viewed by CNBC. The notice says that participation in the promotional event is by "invitation only" and it's expected to run anywhere from seven to 10 days long. 

"We are having the Biggest Summer Sale event to drive excitement and jump-start sales," the notice states. "To drive customer engagement, we are asking for your participation."

An Amazon spokesperson confirmed to CNBC that it's hosting the summer sale later this month. 

"The Big Style Sale is slated to take place later this month and will include seasonally-relevant deals from both established and smaller fashion brands," the spokesperson said in a statement. "We are delighted to help brands connect with our vast global customer base for this event."

Amazon is still finalizing details around the event, which isn't named, but has been given a working title of the "Biggest Sale in the Sky." The company is in the process of finalizing the landing pages for the event and asked sellers to submit deals for items with a discount of at least 30% by the end of the day on Wednesday. 

It's unclear what items will be discounted as part of the sale or whether it will be restricted to Prime subscribers. 

The event represents a shift in Amazon's summer deals strategy. Amazon typically hosts its two-day summer sales event, Prime Day, in mid-July. However, recent reports have suggested that the company will postpone its marquee event until September as its warehouses continue to manage a surge in orders due to the coronavirus. 

The summer sale will likely help some retailers sell the extra inventory that's accumulated in their warehouses over the past months. In March, shoppers flooded Amazon's website with orders for essential items like paper towels and hand sanitizer, which forced it to prioritize shipments of household and medical goods until mid-May. 

Some sellers who offered goods outside of those categories felt like they were left in the lurch, while others were able to shift gears and ship items without Amazon's help or by selling in-demand items like face masks.

Operations at Amazon's warehouses have slowly returned to normal in recent weeks. Sellers are now eager to participate in the summer sale as well as Prime Day, with many of them viewing the discount events as an opportunity to make up for lost sales over the past few months.

Amazon is out-delivering the post office during the pandemic
Amazon is out-delivering the post office during the pandemic