Wow: Alibaba sets a Singles' Day record with $14.3B in sales

Steven Loeb · November 11, 2015 · Short URL:

Over the last few years Singles' Day has become the biggest one-day shopping event of the year

Alibaba isn't having the easiest year. The company has been fined over pricing violations, accused of selling billions worth of counterfeit goods, and it was just recently sued by one of its rivals for false advertising.

Yet, when it comes to the company's biggest event of the year, nothing can bring it down, as Alibaba sold a record breaking $14.3 billion worth of goods during this year's Singles' Day, the company revealed in a Facebook post.

That number is extremely impressive when you realize that its actually the third year in a row that Singles' Day has broken that record. In 2013, Alibaba broke a single day record with a total of $5.78 billion spent on Single's Day, shipping 150 million packages. Last year that number was absolutely destroyed, with consumers spending a whopping $9.3 billion (RMB 57.1 billion).

This year wound up with sales going up by roughly 60 percent year-to-year.

Not only that, but, as Ad Age points out, the amount spent in one day actually topped the entire annual revenues for numerous big name retailers in 2014. That includes Nordstrom, which had $13.1 billion; Toys "R" Us, which had $12.4 billion; and J.C. Penney, which saw $12.3 billion in revenue.

The day, which has been around in some capacity since the 90s, having supposedly been invented by a bunch of college kids, has now been successfully commercialized. It was popularized by Alibaba in 2009, then copyrighted in 2012.

Now Singles' Day has fast become the largest single shopping day of the year, far above Black Friday, which topped $1 billion for the first time last year. or Cyber Monday, which saw $2 billion in sales in 2014. This year's Singles' Day topped both of them in its first 90 minutes, with $5 billion in sales.

Interestingly, the impressive numbers did nothing for Alibaba's stock, which actually went down 1.84 percent, or $1.50, to $79.93 a share. It is now down around 23 percent from $104 a share at the beginning of this year.

It seems that even record setting sales days can't undo some of the damage that has been done by a series of scandals that have plagued Alibaba this year.

In April regulators fined the company over pricing violations committed during Singles Day in 2014, forcing Alibaba to pay 800,000 yuan, or $129,000, for violations committed by third-party sellers on its platform.

While the price bureau admitted that Alibaba does not actually control those third parties, it was still going to levy the fine in order to stress the point that the rules need to be enforced in order to protect consumers. It wants Alibaba to take a stronger stance with its sellers.

Alibaba had previously revealed that it was contacted by the Securities and Exchange Commission earlier this year after it came to light that the company had been talking to China's State Administration for Industry and Commerce regarding sales of counterfeit goods. The company failed to disclose this information on in its IPO prospectus prior to going public last year.

Last week it was revealed that Alibaba had likely sold $45 billion worth of counterfeit goods in the last quarter alone, then JD sued the company for exaggerating its same-day delivery service in subway ads.

VatorNews has reached out to Alibaba for confirmation. We will update this story if we learn more.

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