Singles Day Vs. Black Friday: What’s the Difference Between the Major Shopping Holidays?

2017 Alibaba Singles' Day Global Shopping Festival Gala

Singles Day 2018, the biggest shopping event of the year is right around the corner: not Black Friday, but Singles’ Day, which arrives in China on Sunday with door-busting deals for savvy shoppers.

The holiday was inaugurated by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba in 2009, and has since gone to outpace Black Friday as the single largest sales day in the world. Last year, Singles’ Day hit a record $25.3 billion in sales, double Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.

But its origins stretch back to 1993, when students at China’s Nanjing University bought presents to celebrate their single-hood and resist social pressure to get married. The single students chose Nov. 11 as their “anti-Valentine’s Day,” with each of the date’s lone digit (11.11) representing a “bare stick,” or uncoupled individual who rides solo.

These days, Singles’ Day is still about treating yourself, whether or not you have someone to share your new loot. It’s also gone global: Alibaba rebranded Singles’ Day as the “11.11 Global Shopping Festival,” and its e-commerce archrival joined the fray, as have international brands like Gap, Nike, and Macy’s. In 2016, Alibaba even started holding “See Now, Buy Now” fashion shows in late October, extending the Singles’ Day shopping spree with preorder deals.

Let’s unpack some Singles’ Day stats and see how the Chinese shopping sensation stacks up.

Singles’ Day vs. Black Friday

The main American competitor for Singles Day is post-Thanksgiving Black Friday, known for snaking queues and dangerous stampedes.

Both holidays mark seasons for splurging. Singles’ Day shopping starts between China’s Golden Week (early October) and Chinese New Year (early February), filling an otherwise slow spell for retailers, while Black Friday and digital-era companion Cyber Monday signal the kickoff of winter holiday shopping in the U.S.

But they do have some differences. Singles’ Day features more limited-edition luxury items, with less emphasis on steep discounts.

Many U.S. shoppers look to Black Friday to indulge on a big purchase, like a flat-screen TV, at discount prices. But Singles’ Day, like original nemesis Valentine’s Day, has also become known for gift exchanges.

“What started as an occasion for single people to celebrate their independence has evolved into one of the biggest gifting occasions in China,” Fung Global Retail & Technology analysts reported in 2017.

STR—AFP/Getty ImagesEmployees sorting packages ahead of Singles Day in Huaibei in China’s eastern Anhui province on Nov. 9, 2017.The numbers

Going by the statistics, there’s little contest: Singles’ Day sales surged past America’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday in 2012 and only expanded from there. Alibaba hauled in $25.3 billion alone in 2017, compared to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which together, raked in $11.62 billion for Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined. And Alibaba isn’t the only player: also made $19.1 billion on Singles’ Day 2017.

Shoppers in 225 countries snapped up goods from over 140,000 businesses, according to data from …read more

Source:: Time – World

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