Alibaba promises sustainability focus in this year’s 11.11 consumer fest

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By Inside Retail Asia

Alibaba says sustainability and inclusiveness will be emphasized in this year’s 11.11 Global Shopping Festival, an event that by the company’s own admission “showcases the tremendous consumption power of Chinese consumers”.

Without a hint of irony, Alibaba’s chief marketing officer Chris Tung launched this year’s event, the 13th since the concept was founded, with the statement: “This year’s festival marks a new chapter for 11.11. We believe we must leverage the power of 11.11 to encourage sustainable development and promote inclusiveness to consumers, merchants and partners across our ecosystem.”

Yet, as always, the festival’s primary objective will be to sell as much merchandise as possible – whether people need it or not – and thus eclipse last year’s record of US$74.1 billion – counting the period from when pre-event promotions began on November 1 through to midnight on 11.11. That was 26 per cent higher than during the same timeframe in 2019. Not to be left out, rival JD generated a further $40.9 billion in trade over the same period.

This year’s 11.11 festival will feature a record 290,000 brands with Tmall offering more than 14 million deals to more than 900 million consumers across China, according to an Alibaba statement released overnight. Once again, the event will start with a presale window from November 1 to 3, with the main event beginning at the stroke of midnight on November 10.

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