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Amazon reports 80 per cent growth in Prime members in Canada

A package from Amazon Prime is loaded for delivery on a UPS truck, in New York.

Mark Lennihan/AP Inc. says sign-ups for its Amazon Prime membership program have grown 80 per cent year-over-year in Canada, one of the fastest growth rates for the customer loyalty program that is being closely watched by Canadian competitors.

The program, which charges an annual membership fee of $79 plus taxes, was launched in Canada in 2013. It offers members free delivery as well as access to Amazon's video streaming service, video games, unlimited photo storage and other benefits.

Amazon said it has tens of millions of Prime members worldwide. "We've been very pleased with the way [Canadian] customers have been responding," Greg Greeley, vice-president of Amazon Prime Worldwide, said in an interview from Seattle, Wash.

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Amazon will be holding its third annual Prime Day – its biggest sales day of the year – on July 11 in more than a dozen countries including Canada.

The promotions will begin earlier than usual this year, at 9 p.m. ET on July 10. Mr. Greeley said prices for sales items will be the lowest they've been all year and include more selection and quantities than previous years.

BMO Nesbitt Burns estimates Amazon had just over $3.5-billion in Canadian e-commerce sales in 2016. The company declined to confirm the figure.

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