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Singles Day in China - Christmas Comes Early for Retailers

Singles Day KSF global

It’s Singles Day in China, that doesn't mean much to the rest of us, but in a country with the world’s biggest population it’s the biggest retail day of the year. With more brands awaking up to its sales potential, its only set to grow.

Singles Day allows young single people to organise parties and social events throughout China. Guanggun Jie as it is known in China, translates to ‘bare sticks’ in reference to the date of 11th of November (11.11). The holiday has been celebrated since the early 90’s, particularly by young male university students. These days, the holiday is gender neutral and it has become a day to either celebrate your single lifestyle with friends, or go out searching for the ideal partner. Shopping and buying presents for one’s self become a staple of the day, which is why Singles Day is one of the biggest days in China’s Retail calendar.

Ecommerce site, Alibaba have reportedly made more than $8 billion in one day from avid shoppers by 9 pm in China. Big brands have been taking note of the sales opportunities for the last few years, with Adidas and Uniqlo being big sellers of the day. Retail profits exceed anything seen on Cyber Monday or even Black Friday in the US. Next year, it will be no surprise to see Western brands attempt to use Singles Day as a way to enter the Chinese retail market next year. Both the UK and America have a very large number of Chinese visitors, so looking at how they can export this holiday to other parts of the world will be the next logical step.  The difficultly is getting consumers to see November 11th as a day of discounted shopping when Veteran’s and Armistice Day fall on the same date. Any brand that is able to successfully bring the holiday to an already full calendar in the West might just be sitting on a goldmine.

An anti-Valentines Day is not a new concept but now with so much profit at stake, brands show look at how they can incorporate Singles Day into their marketing. Who knows, we could be seeing Singles Day shop window displays this time next year.

Are you looking to bring your brand to China? KSF Global specialises in helping brands to present themselves to Chinese consumers. Be it local sourcing or a redesign suited to China, we can help. 

Image from wantchinatimes.com