Alibaba launches global 11:11 shopping festival ahead of Singles Day

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Singles' Day

Alibaba has launched its 11.11 Global Shopping Festival, announcing a raft of pre-sale activities today for the lead up to its signature Singles’ Day event.

Part of the pre-sale activities includes spreading out promotions to lighten the load for the half a billion online shoppers expected during the traditional 24-hour sales period on November 11.

Alibaba said over 140,000 brands will participate in this year’s 11.11 festival, offering promotions for more than 15 million product listings.

Of these, more than 60,000 international brands — many of which are UK retailers — will be available to the more than half a billion Chinese consumers visiting Alibaba’s platforms.

In addition, the company’s Tmall online marketplace will bring more than 100 Chinese brands to overseas consumers, offering special promotions.

11:11 is the new official name of the major shopping event previously known as Singles’ Day, which Alibaba promotes with a live show and online and offline retail activity.

This year the theme will sit alongside the company’s strategy for “New Retail” by focusing on future retail innovation, such as augmented reality and mobile apps, converting physical stores into “smart stores”, and partnering with major global brands to help digitise traditionally bricks-and-mortar businesses.

Alibaba plans to announce the full details of this year’s 11:11 festivities on October 31 but has provided teasers related to the New Retail theme today.

November 11 is known in China as Singles’ Day because the date, 11-11, resembles four “bare sticks,” a Chinese term used to refer to single people.

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