China's biggest shopping holiday of the year kicked off early in an effort to boost retail sales during the pandemic.
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Singles Day, the unofficial Chinese holiday celebrated annually on Nov. 11 and one of the country’s biggest online shopping days on retail platform Alibaba, is starting early this year, with items already on sale.
This year, Alibaba is also launching twice the amount of sale products in an effort to drive revenue, with more than 2 million items offered up at discount rates, Reuters reported. Between now and Nov. 3 consumers can get early access to discounts leading up to the annual 24-hour retail day on Nov. 11.
The decision to release products early is expected to help gauge any economic rebound following lockdowns and job losses earlier this year.
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Alibaba chief marketing officer Chris Tung said last week he believes the pandemic will result in increased demand for luxury items since global travel bans are still in place, and hindering Chinese consumers from shopping overseas, according to Reuters.
It’s unclear if Singles Day will be as lucrative for American brands this year. Sixty-six percent of Chinese consumers said they’ll buy domestic brands over foreign ones, data from global consulting firm AlixPartners released last month found.