You know you’re approaching the end of the year when it’s time to start talking about “Singles Day”, China’s version of ‘Black Friday’ which falls on 11th November each year (“Double 11”) and, since it was first introduced in 2009 to celebrate singledom or bachelorhood, has become Alibaba’s flagship shopping event of the year. You’ll remember that Singles Day 2019 broke all previous records and, with China’s retail sector recovering from the pandemic, this year’s will be closely watched for more signs of China’s economic recovery.
According to Fortune “while China’s economy has seen a remarkable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, exports and government spending on infrastructure are largely responsible for the comeback. Consumer spending has yet to make a significant return. Retail sales returned to growth only in August, rising 0.5% over last year; September growth clocked in at 3.3% versus 2019” meaning that Singles’s Day 2020 is more important than usual.
To kick things off early, “Alibaba introduced a second sales period, from Nov. 1 to Nov. 3, increasing opportunities for consumers to pick up cheap deals. According to Alibaba, shoppers spent over $1.49 billion on goods within the first 111 minutes of sales on Nov. 1, with the first delivery taking place at a suspiciously precise 11 minutes past midnight. That spending seems slow compared with last year, when Alibaba said merchants sold $1 billion of goods within the first minute of Singles’ Day sales”.
We’ll all be watching to see how it turns out next Wednesday.