Alibaba Group Holding Ltd - ADR BABA is conducting the world’s biggest 24-hour shopping event. Alibaba’s “Singles' Day” event is held on Nov. 11 each year and this year’s event is expected to be a record-breaking day.
What Is Singles Day? In China, Singles' Day is like an anti-Valentine’s Day. Singles' Day is a relatively new holiday in China created by young Chinese students to celebrate being single. The literal English translation of the holiday’s name is “bare sticks holiday,” and Nov. 11 was chosen specifically as the date because its numerical representation (11/11) is comprised entirely of ones.
Singles' Day originated at China’s Nanjing University back in 1993 and spread to other local universities throughout the 1990s. The holiday was initially only celebrated by men. Today, single Chinese men and women alike get together to party with other singles every Nov. 11.
This year, Alibaba added a second phase to its Singles' Day event from Nov. 1-3.
The Numbers: Singles' Day 2019 totaled more than $38 billion in sales for Alibaba, up 24.6% from a year ago. For perspective on those numbers, Amazon.com, Inc. AMZN reported about $10.4 billion in sales during its two-day Prime Day event in October. Singles Day 2019 also far surpassed the $9.4 billion spent on Cyber Monday and the $7.4 billion sent online on Black Friday.
Singles Day 2020: This year, a survey by AlixPartners found only 15% of Chinese shoppers plan to spend less during Singles' Day this year than they did last year, while 39% plan to spend more. Analysts are expecting another record year for Alibaba on Wednesday.
Ther Chinese online retailers also hold their own Singles Day events. JD.Com Inc JD reported $29.1 billion in Singles Day sales last year.
Truist analyst Youssef Squali is projecting Alibaba’s 2020 Singles Day GMV will be between $48 billion and $49.92 billion representing 25% to 30% growth compared to last year.
"If they grow [Singles Day sales] 30% or more, we will definitely view it as a successful event, but it wouldn't necessarily mean that they would kill it for the entire quarter," Squali said.
Benzinga’s Take: Alibaba will have to report some extremely good Singles Day numbers this year to draw attention away from the recent suspended IPO of Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial. Alibaba shares have also been weighed on by a large rotation out of large tech stocks since the US election.
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