Alibaba Singles' Day Set to Challenge US$31 Billion Sales Record

Singles Day 2019: Alibaba's shopping day bigger than Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday combined

Singles' Day was turned into a shopping holiday in 2009.

Its data center was in 24-hour operation at high loads during last year's Double 11, with real-time data processing at its peak of more than 1.7 billion calculations per second.

What economic slowdown? Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., the world's largest retailer and e-commerce company, reported a stunning gross merchandise volume (GMV) of $13 billion (CNY91.2 billion) during the first official hour of China's Singles' Day - the world's largest offline and online shopping day - that launched Monday morning, Beijing time.

Monday 11 November kicks off the busiest period of the year for parcel delivery business NZ Post - beginning with the online shopping frenzy known as Singles' Day.

Alibaba saw sales worth $30 billion on its platforms on Singles' Day past year, dwarfing $7.9 billion US online sales for Cyber Monday.

The event is named after the calendar date 11/11, with the four ones seen as symbolizing the state of being single.

"This year will be the 11th 11.11 festival, with more than 200,000 brands participating, one million new products on offer and over 500 million users are expected to participate - about 100 million more than last year", Alibaba said in a statement. It ranks first globally, with Cyber Monday from the US coming in second place with an average sales number of 7.75 billion yuan.

Alibaba has been trying to expand its customer base beyond its core first- and second-tier city shoppers to less developed areas to combat slowing retail sales growth, describing it as a key strategy for the firm this year.

But despite the shopping festival's commercial success for local retailers, 73 per cent of New Zealanders have not heard of Singles' Day, according to price and product comparison site PriceSpy. "That's an average of nearly three parcels a second".

Workers sort worldwide parcels at a cross-border e-commerce industrial park ahead of the Singles Day online shopping festival in Hefei, Anhui, province, China November 2, 2019. Past year we delivered over 14.5 million parcels during November and December. NZ Post completes well over half of these deliveries with more than 78 million parcels delivered a year ago.

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