Hardware stores muscle in on Amazon Prime Day

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Hardware stores muscle in on Amazon Prime Day

The world’s largest retail disrupter launched its fourth annual Amazon Prime Day on Monday. The cyber deals are available to Amazon Prime members, and the event runs into the wee hours of July 18.

The event ran into disruption of another sort when a technical glitch crashed the site shortly after it went live. Still, the Prime Day event is expected to be a massive cyber-shopping holiday, generating sales in excess of $3 billion.

Meanwhile, some big names in home improvement retailing are showing that when it comes to special, once-a-year digital sales events, Amazon isn’t the only game in town.

Overlapping Prime Day, Lowe’s on Monday began promoting a two-days-only sales event that promises 10% off sitewide for MyLowe’s members. Membership in MyLowe’s is free for customers. In addition to receiving deals, members also use MyLowe's to keep track of their purchases.

Also on Monday, Oak Brook, Ill.-based co-op Ace Hardware Corp. began promoting 36 hours of savings. Specifically, customers receive 15% discounts on their online purchases as part of Ace's 36 hours of "Cyber Deals."

True Value, the Chicago-based hardlines distributor, also muscled in. The TrueValue.com web site’s Deal Day features 25% to 50% discounts on products while quantities last on Monday only.

Ace promotes 36 hours of Cyber Deals.

Both Ace and True Value promote free shipping to participating stores.

Amazon claims some 100 million Prime members around the globe. These customers pay some $99 per year for the privilege of free two-day shipping on most items, plus special deals and the ability to stream music and videos. On Monday, these Amazon customers could tap into a huge menu of discounts, such as Fossil watches at 40% off, and fire tv sticks at half off.

Despite the early glitch, Amazon took pains to make this year’s sale bigger and broader.

The online giant’s fourth annual sales event kicked off on Monday, and will run through July 17. Spanning 36 hours, it will be the longest Prime Day event to date, topping last year’s sale by six hours. It is the first in which the shopping spree entered physical stores. Leveraging its recent acquisition of Whole Foods Market, the online retailer offered Prime members an additional 10% off hundreds of sale items throughout Whole Foods stores, and deep discounts on select popular products. Amazon Prime Rewards Visa card members will also earn 10% back at Whole Foods during the sales event, up to $400 in purchases, according to the company.

Prime Day will also reach more international customers this year. In addition to enabling shoppers in the U.S., the U.K., Canada, Mexico, Spain, Japan, Italy, India, Germany, France, China, Canada, Belgium and Austria to participate, Amazon is opening the sale to Prime members in Australia, Singapore, Netherlands and Luxembourg.

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