Singles’ Day always takes place on 11 November – the date was intentionally chosen for the symbolism of the lone digits – 11/11.
Bars, clubs and restaurants that catered for younger people began offering discounts to single people and Singles’ Day went stratospheric, becoming the world’s biggest shopping event thanks to the vast Chinese market.
In 2012, e-commerce giant Alibaba registered the name as a trademark. Last year the company sold goods and services worth 213.5bn yuan (£30.5bn) on Singles’ Day, and now the event is spreading beyond China into Europe.
During its early days it was also known as Batchelor’s Day as it was mostly just men who celebrated the occasion, but now it’s championed by everyone.
To celebrate this holiday, people buy gifts but not for each other, for themselves.
With the estimated $37 billion in 2019 Singles Day sales, the unofficial Chinese holiday will blow the doors off Black Friday, which is expected to ave sales of $12 billion this year.
For 2019, Alibaba projects 100 more consumers will shop on Singles Day compared with last year, totaling more than 500 million shoppers. Alibaba also says more than 200,000 brands will participate in the 2019 event, up from 170,000 last year, and 1 million products will be on sale. Alibaba declined to project sales volume for Singles Day 2019.