Singles Day Hits Another Record, Bringing in $84.5 Billion for Alibaba

Alibaba’s annual Singles Day extravaganza, also known as the 11.11 Global Shopping Festival, has officially wrapped and hit a new high, bringing in $84.54 billion in gross merchandise volume during a two-week span, despite economic headwinds in the country. By comparison, in 2020, the consumer event generated $74.1 billion.

Alibaba reported that at least 900 million Chinese consumers participated in the shopping event, which featured a record 290,000 brands.

The merchandise offering covered a range of categories, including high-end and designer fashion. Janet Wang, the head of Alibaba’s Tmall Luxury Division, revealed last month that more than 200 luxury and designer labels would take part in the 11.11 event, including Chanel, Balenciaga, Gucci, Prada, Coach, Bottega Veneta and Christian Louboutin — and Hermes and Saint Laurent joined for the first time.

Singles Day was also a banner revenue driver for JD.com, which reported sales of 311.4 billion yuan (or $48.6 billion), even before its sales event officially closed. That far outpaced its 2020 total of 271.5 billion yuan.

The Singles Day event comes at a time when economic growth in China has slowed and consumer activity has dipped. In its Q3 earnings report released yesterday, Adidas noted that pandemic-related lockdowns and supply chain issues in China caused its overall revenue growth to be reduced by about 600 million euro this quarter. And sales in the country declined 15% in the quarter.

In the lead-up to the 11.11 launch, Alibaba leadership stressed a greater focus on sustainability and philanthropy, alongside the revenue opportunities. “11.11 is about how to best leverage Alibaba’s latest technology to support brands and merchants in driving sustainable and inclusive growth in more efficient ways,” said chief marketing officer Chris Tung in a statement.

“In the early stages of 11.11, we focused on growth — the same way that parents would focus on a child’s height and strength. But as a child becomes a teenager, the parents shift their focus to nurturing the child’s sense of responsibility: the role he or she plays in society. That is what we’re doing now,” he added.

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