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Alibaba Breaks Singles' Day Sales Record

Published by: Ronnie on 11th Nov 2015 | View all blogs by Ronnie

Alibaba Breaks Singles' Day Sales Record

Alibaba reported Wednesday that it has broken the Singles' Day sales record thanks to clever marketing and the use of several Hollywood celebrities to promote the event. The company said it generated 91.2 million yuan ($14.3 billion) on the day invented as China's answer to Valentine's Day. Top-sellers included Nike shoes, Levi's Jeans and baby-related products, which helped the company surpass last year's sales record of $9.3 billion by the middle of the day. The company went to drastic measures to boost sales for Singles' Day 2015, moving the event headquarters to Beijing and bringing in celebrities like James Bond star Daniel Craig and Kevin Spacey to take part in a four-hour variety show promoting the event.

Singles' Day was first dreamed up in the 1990s by Chinese students wanting an alternative to the US holiday, Valentine's Day. The date November 11th was chosen because when you write the date numerically, it is reminiscent of “bare branches”, seen by the Chinese as a symbol of being single. Alibaba began using the holiday to push merchandise in 2009, and other Chinese retailers have followed suit, turning the day into China's equivalent of Cyber Monday. This year's results show that the initiative is working, as more international retailers were added and sales flourished. Alibaba's next goal is to increase participation in Singles' Day to the US, as the company plans to open a third office in New York in the coming months.

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