The Chinese e-commerce giant’s annual Singles’ Day shopping blitz on Monday brought in a record 268.4 billion yuan ($38.38 billion) in sales, more than six times the amount of online sales made in the United States on Black Friday last year.
Alibaba said on Tuesday that 299 brands surpassed 100 million yuan in gross merchandise value, among them smartphone makers Huawei Technologies and Apple (AAPL.O), LVMH’s (LVMH.PA) Givenchy, home appliance makers Dyson and Philips (PHG.AS) and sportswear makers Nike (NKE.N) and Under Armour (UAA.N).
Sales growth for the annual shopping festival this year eased to 26%, the weakest since the event started in 2009, in a reflection of how e-commerce sales in China have been slowing.
“What’s happened is that you’ve had a lot of consumers this year being a little bit more careful about their purchasing because the economy’s slowing down,” said Ben Cavender, managing director of consultancy China Market Research Group.
Liu Xingliang, internet analyst at DCCI Data Center, who was among guests invited to Alibaba’s headquarters on the day of the event, said the firm’s efforts to reach smaller, lower-tier cities with real bargains played a significant role.
“I saw them selling electronic tooth brushes at 9.9 yuan ($1.42), and 65-inch TV sets at 1,800 yuan ($257.36). People in lower-tier cities and towns can afford these products and in fact, they like big TVs more than city people, because they usually have larger houses.”