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Singles’ Day comes to the UK: Chinese anti-Valentine’s event to double in value

China’s Singles’ Day will double in value in the UK this year as the event falls on a Sunday to make it more popular than ever with home shoppers, according to a new report.

Ecommerce delivery firm ParcelHero it says there will be a sharp rise in postage from China as online traders buy in bulk to make the most of free postage while it lasts.

ParcelHero forecasts British Singles’ Day sales are likely to soar in value thanks to the ideal timing of the event, which lands on a Sunday this year.

Globally Singles’ Day (11/11/18) already dwarfs both Black Friday and Cyber Monday: last year it saw sales of $25.3bn, against Black Friday/Cyber Monday combined sales of ‘just’ $14.48bn. Now ParcelHero says the event, which originated in China, is perfectly positioned for bargain-conscious UK Christmas buyers shopping at home on Sunday, and traders looking to boost stock for Christmas.

ParcelHero’s Head of Consumer Research, David Jinks MILT, says: ‘The ultra-cheap postage prices from China could soon be a thing of the past, as Trump pushes the Universal Postal Union hard to reform unfair Chinese postage rates to the West. He’s set to leave the agreement inside a year if China’s rates are not raised. Many UK marketplace traders will be looking to make the most of the current bargain rates this Singles’ Day, while they last’.

Says David: ‘Many well-known British retailers, such as New Look and M&S, have previously sold significant volumes of products in China on Singles’ Day through Alibaba’s shop window, Tmall. But this year we believe there will also be a boom here in the UK as well.’

David reveals: ‘AliExpress, the eBay-style marketplace owned by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, is already offering UK buyers a wealth of products on pre-order for Singles’ Day. Back in 2014 AliExpress’ mobile transactions in the UK rose 59% on Singles’ Day, and all the signs are pointing towards a similar boost this year.’

Explains David: ‘The day is ideally timed for Brits: not only is it a non-working day, but, as the most common payday in the UK is 28th of the month, Christmas buyers will still have a paycheque to come before Christmas. As awareness of the event grows beyond China we are seeing UK, European and US retailers really starting to push more of their own Singles’ Day offers.’

Retailers fight to gain the first significant holiday season sales. Brands from River Island and New Look to Nike, Zavvi and ASOS have all offered special Singles’ Day deals in recent years for UK buyers.

Concludes David: ‘Retailers and consumers alike are becoming very aware of the opportunities Singles’ Day offers. This year’s event is ideally timed for weekend shoppers, just at the start of the big seasonal spend.’

To discover the full story of how Singles’ Day originated as a students’ joke, and just why it is growing so rapidly globally, read more here.


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