Amazon unveils its biggest Prime Day plans yet

Amazon has revealed that this year’s Prime Day will last 36 hours, starting July 16 at 3 pm ET.

The annual global shopping event, which provides steep discounts to members of its $119-per-year subscription service, will offer “more than one million deals exclusively for Prime members around the world, plus select deals at all US Whole Foods Market stores,” according to Amazon.

To drum up excitement for the day, Amazon is placing giant “Smile boxes” in cities including New York City, Los Angeles, London, Tokyo and Milan. The company plans to “unbox” them in advance of Prime day “to reveal an unforgettable event, unique to each city, in a nod to the unparalleled benefits that come with a Prime membership including music, video, gaming and more.” A promo video for the Smile boxes can be viewed here.

In the days leading up to Prime Day, Amazon is slashing prices on some of its own items. Starting today, members who buy its Echo Show will receive a $100 discount. Those who shop AmazonBasics, which offers everyday items like batteries and bath towels, can get up to 20% off. Prime members who haven't yet tried Kindle Unlimited will have access to three months of unlimited reading for $0.99.

Over at Whole Foods – which Amazon acquired last year – Prime members will receive an additional 10% off hundreds of sale items throughout the store. From July 14 through 17, Amazon Prime Rewards Visa cardmembers will get 10% back – double the usual amount – when shopping at Whole Foods on up to a total of $400 in purchases.

“Prime members will enjoy a day (and a half) of our best deals, with 36 hours to shop more than one million deals worldwide,” said Jeff Wilke, Amazon chief executive of worldwide consumer, in a statement. “New this year, members can shop exclusive Prime Day Launches from hundreds of brands worldwide, enjoy exclusive savings at Whole Foods Market and experience surprise entertainment events unboxed from giant Smile boxes in major cities. More than 100 million paid Prime members around the world will find our best Prime Day celebration yet.”

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