Published: Mon, November 12, 2018
Markets | By Erika Turner

A look back at Singles' Day: How shopathon has grown since 2009

A look back at Singles' Day: How shopathon has grown since 2009

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. logged 10 billion yuan ($1.44 billion) in sales in the opening minutes of its annual Singles' Day extravaganza, outpacing last year's start and on pace to smash a record as shoppers swarmed the e-commerce giant's online bazaars.

This year's tally breaks from gloomy forecasts about the world's second-largest economy, which is struggling with a tariff war with the USA, a stock market slump and slowing overall growth.

With sales dwarfing those of Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the USA, the festival has become the largest of its kind globally.

"This year we are going to engage the entire Alibaba economy".

Sales rose 27 percent, compared with 39 percent a year ago. Current chief executive Daniel Zhang will take over as chairman next year, the company said in September.

Milk company A2 was the sixth best performing "cross border" brand, and sales of New Zealand lamb jumped 917 per cent in the first hour of the event, compared the same period previous year.

Alibaba Group Founder and Executive Chairman, China's Jack Ma speaks during a panel session on the second day of the World Economic Forum, on January 18, 2017 in Davos.

We're talking about Singles' Day, which takes place this Sunday, November 11.

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Trump, a Republican, said the project would lower consumer fuel prices, create jobs and reduce US dependence on foreign oil. The state department has now been ordered to do a more thorough review of the effect on issues like the climate.

Still, there's some uncertainty this year, due to a slowing economy, real estate deflation and trade tensions with the US that could impact on Chinese consumption.

Top countries selling to China were Japan, the United States and Korea, whereas the top imported brands bought by Chinese consumers were Swisse, KAO and Moony. The date was chosen because 11-11 resembles four "bare sticks", a Chinese term for bachelor. This year, the shopping festival is focusing on Alibaba's New Retail strategy -the convergence of online and offline retail through technology.

Alibaba's Singles' Day surpassed Amazon's biggest shopping day of the year in less than 10 minutes.

Today, Singles' Day has expanded to become a shopping festival for everyone, and Alibaba holds an annual Double 11 star-studded gala packed with celebrities and performances to entertain its millions of users as they shop.

Alibaba kicked off this year's sales with a gala event that featured USA singer Mariah Carey, a Japanese Beyonce impersonator, and a Cirque du Soleil performance. He spent about S$170 (US$123) this year on Lazada this year, including S$29 on a surprise box from apparel brand Dockers that would come with S$100 worth of items.

It was created by Alibaba, a Chinese e-commerce giant, which this year has racked up sales of an eye-watering $25 billion last year and is expecting to clear $35 billion this year. Southeast Asia' biggest web retailer is becoming a key part of Alibaba's plan to fuel growth, on top of the company's efforts to move into shopping malls, convenience stores and food delivery.

The strong consumer spending provides some welcome news for economy watchers concerned about the impact of the trade war on overseas shipments.

The slump in China's advertising sector is also hurting Alibaba.

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