Do you hate Valentine’s Day? You may want to consider a trip to China. Today, China held a nation-wide celebration for its eligible bachelors and bachelorettes, aptly named Singles’ Day (it’s held on 11/11 – all ones – get it!?).
The holiday was started by a group of students back in 1993. Like almost every holiday, it was co-opted for commercial purposes and in 2009 Alibaba (BABA) made it their own. The day became a national online shopping day, where retailers offer discounts on everything from clothes to houses. Currently, Alibaba is offering a great deal on a boyfriend body pillow.
In many ways, Singles’ Day is like Black Friday or Cyber Monday, except it’s so much bigger. Last year there were $8 billion in online sales on Singles’ Day. Last year, Alibaba accounted for $5.7 billion of those sales. In comparison, Black Friday and Cyber Monday hit $3 billion in sales – combined!
You might have noticed a pop in Alibaba’s stock price yesterday, which opened at $117, up from $114.50’s close on Friday. Today is why. Everyone expected Alibaba to crush Singles’ Day today.
And crush it, it did. The company had nearly $9 billion in sales on this year’s Singles’ Day, which is more sales than were in the entire country last year. Alibaba also set a record this year when it processed more than $2 billion on its payments app, Alipay, in the first hour.
Alibaba was helped this year by adding foreign retailers, such as Costco and Tesla, to its lineup. Tesla actually released a new model of its cars today. Alibaba is trying to expand Singles’ Day globally as well. Maybe we’ll see theme-appropriate Ben & Jerry deals through Alibaba in the US next year?
So far, Alibaba has yet to disappoint. Let’s hope it can keep up its meteoric ascent. In full disclosure I own shares of the company and am cautiously optimistic.