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For apparel specialists and department stores, July has historically been a strong sale period with end of season clearance as the focus, ahead of new fall styles. Nordstrom is plowing on with their Anniversary sale as planned, while traditional competitors such as Macy’s, JCPenney and Kohl’s are taking more overt stabs at competing with Prime Day. Most are offering stackable deals and additional loyalty points with nearly all retailers offering free shipping during the 48-hour period. Here’s a quick recap of notable promotions in the channel:

  • Macy’s – Black Friday in July featuring special deep discounts (deals extended from the weekend)
  • JCPenney “Click to start your cart” sale
  • Kohl’s – 2-day summer deals with stackable savings
  • J Crew – “Prime time deals” up to 70% off full price
  • Forever 21 – Black Friday in July, 80% off sale
  • Strong emphasis on Back to School gear and apparel

Kohl’s/Amazon tweet

Kohl is pushing its new partnership to process Amazon returns at all stores nationwide, hoping to spur more foot traffic in stores in the days following #PrimeDay.

Source: Kohl’s

Ulta tweet

Ulta goes for a “cheeky” deal on makeup and skincare primers on #PrimeDay.

Source: Ulta

U.S. beauty specialists go product-first on Prime Day

Amazon has leveraged Prime Day timing to debut its newest private label beauty brand, Haus Laboratories by Lady Gaga, available for pre-order throughout the two-day event. Beauty specialists in the US are responding by highlighting key products that differentiate their offer from each other and Amazon:

  • Ulta is continuing its “Jumbo Love” hair event with up to 50% off large sizes but is adding in the same deal on select facial primers for a cheeky play on words for Prime Day.
  • Sephora continues to eschew big deal days but is pushing its collection of Clean @ Sephora products, highlighting what the retailer does best: product curation. The retailer has also recently released information about its Sephora event, highlighting the “IRL” aspects of beauty retailing that beauty shoppers appreciate and at which Sephora excels.
  • Sally Beauty went for a more direct method, offering “Prime Deals” and 3x loyalty points for loyalty members.


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