Alibaba's 10th annual Singles Day generated $30.8 billion in sales, a 27 percent increase over last year and a record for the day. During Singles Day, which is also called the Double 11 shopping festival because it falls on Nov. 11, Alibaba offered discounts across its e-commerce sites such as Tmall. According to Alibaba, sales hit $1 billion after one minute and 25 seconds. The Chinese retail giant also said that its fulfillment network, Cainiao Smart Logistics, handled more than a billion orders, moving packages with the help of satellites, according to a post on the company’s Alizila blog. More than 40 percent of consumers bought merchandise from 180,000 international brands such as Apple, Dyson, Kindle, Estée Lauder, L’Oréal, Nestlé, Gap, Nike and Adidas. The top countries selling to China were Japan, the U.S., South Korea, Australia, and Germany. Alibaba also introduced new aspects into this year's Singles Day. For example, Lazada, a Singapore-based e-commerce site that has operations across Southeast Asia and is majority-owned by Alibaba, hosted its own sales, thereby bringing the shopping holiday to consumers in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam.
Total Retail's Take: Singles Day, an informal holiday in China celebrating people not in relationships that began in 2009, has become the biggest of the "shopping holidays." In fact, Alibaba's Singles Day sales haul easily exceeded the spending by consumers during any single U.S. shopping holiday. Furthermore, the success of this year's Singles Day may provide some relief to investors amid concerns that the U.S.-China trade war and stock market drops in the mainland have hit Chinese consumers’ appetites. “I think you have to understand Alibaba and what Alibaba’s doing in the context of the long-term secular trend that’s developing in China, which is the rise of the Chinese middle class,” said Joe Tsai, executive vice chairman of Alibaba, in a statement. ”That trend is not going to stop, trade war or no trade war.”