Amazon

(CNN) -- Amazon said Monday that it will host its annual Prime Day sales event on October 13 and 14.

Prime Day, which normally takes place in mid-July, had been postponed because of the pandemic. The event is Amazon's version of Christmas in the summer, and sales routinely outpace Black Friday.

This is the latest that Amazon has ever held Prime Day, and the first time it takes place in the fourth quarter, which also includes two other industrywide holiday deals events after it, including Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

"We think Prime Day this year will be the bigger than it has ever been," said Jamil Ghani, vice president of Amazon Prime. "It certainly has been an unprecedented year and we have been preparing for what follows all year. We think Oct. 13 and 14 is the right time to kick off a successful and safe holiday season."

Amazon tested out its inaugural Prime Day in July of 2015 to celebrate the company's 20th anniversary. Amazon has been lengthening Prime Day over the past five years of its existence, officially extending it to two days and offering preview deals weeks before the big event.

The sales event has boosted Amazon's sales. But, more importantly, Amazon uses the savings event to spotlight its own products and hook new members on its subscription program that more than 100 million people around the world count as an indispensable part of their shopping lives. The vast majority of the company's offerings on Prime Day are exclusive to Prime members — the $120-a-year subscription that offers customers music, movies, TV shows and free shipping.

Amazon has thrived during the pandemic as consumers buy more goods online and limit their visits to stores. Amazon reported $88.9 billion in sales during its latest quarter ending June 30, up 40% from the same period a year earlier. Net income doubled during the quarter to $5.2 billion.

Amazon's decision may prompt more brick-and-mortar retailers to begin their holiday sales early this year, say retail analysts. Home Depot has said it will offer two months of Black Friday discounts starting in early November, and Best Buy plans to start promotions earlier this year.

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