Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) broke sales records, again, on Singles Day as shoppers in China spent roughly $14.3 billion on Wednesday Nov. 11.
Last year, Singles Day brought in nearly $9 billion in sales. Alibaba blew past that number in the first 14 hours of this year's 24-hour sale event. There were $5 billion in sales in the first 90 minutes alone.
Singles Day began as a way for single people in China to celebrate by buying themselves something. The shopping event has grown exponentially. Several U.S. retailers now participate via stores on Alibaba's Tmall. In August, Macy's announced a joint venture to open a store on Tmall, and other participating retailers include The Gap brands, Amazon and Costco. Online retailer Dealmoon extends the Singles Day sale to Chinese consumers in the United States.
Alibaba has built Singles Day into an international phenomenon. The event is now looked at as a measure of economic strength and consumer sentiment, much like Black Friday in the United States. This year, Alibaba added an in-store component, making Singles Day an omnichannel event. More than 1,000 retail brands with 180,000 stores in 330 cities across China participated. In Beijing alone, more than 8,000 stores took part in the festival.
Alibaba makes Singles Day omnichannel
Alibaba kicks off 11.11 shopping festival
Alibaba rolls out pharmacy delivery service
China's Singles Day shoppers set world record in online sales
Alibaba partners with Alipay to help US brands reach Chinese shoppers