November 11 is significant in Australia due to Remembrance Day but yesterday was noteworthy in China for another reason, as the day the country’s singles send retailers into overdrive.
Yesterday marked ‘Singles Day’ in China, a twist on Valentine’s Day it’s a chance for singles to spend big on themselves.
And spend big they did.
Websites under the Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. reported sales of more than 35 billion yuan ($6.14bn).
The result tops last year’s result of 19.1 billion yuan.
The sales top that of America’s Cyber Monday which last year saw $US1.46bn shelled out on the Monday after Thanksgiving online.
Singles Day is only a new e-tail phenomenon in China where Alibaba’s Tmall site only began marketing the day in 2009.
While the origins of Singles Day are not clear the most frequently referenced story is that it was created by students as a way to secure a partner.
Understood to have been created in the 1990s the date was chosen because it was the most ‘single’ day on the calendar with the four ones – 11/11.
According to the People’s Daily 11/11 is likened to the Chinese phrase – “bare branches – for bachelors and spinsters”.
Locally, online sales are set to explode this month as bargain hunters hit the web on for Click Frenzy and Cyber Monday.
Adobe’s Digital Index is forecasting sales to hit more than double the normal spending levels.