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The Information reports that Alibaba Group did something unusual for its annual Singles Day promotion this year - it didn't announce how much business it transacted, but rather said that its performance was "in line" with last year's volume.

Last year, Alibaba did the equivalent of about $76.5 billion (US) in sales during the 11-day Singles Day promotion.

The story says that "this year’s Singles Day came amid global economic headwinds and growing concerns about the looming recession. In China, the government’s strict zero-Covid policy, which has resulted in draconian measures such as lockdowns, has dealt a blow to the country’s already slowing economy."

Reuters reports that in general, "the annual Chinese shopping fest was far more subdued than in the past, when staggering transaction volumes, celebrity-studded galas and other excesses were the norm. That says more about the country's gloomy economic outlook than the $187 billion e-commerce titan."

KC's View:

The Reuters piece also makes another important observation, that the basic proposition has changed:  "Singles Day was created in 2009 to win over online shoppers with discounts and promotions; these days, brands use it to clear inventory and experiment with new products. It has become far less important to Alibaba’s bottom line."

Since Amazon's Prime Days were sort of modeled on Singles Day, and it seems that the most recent Prime Days promotions were less overwhelming than in the past, I wonder if this could be a harbinger of things to come.  I wouldn't be surprised;  Tom Furphy and I speculated on "The Innovation Conversation" that it was time for Amazon to reinvent the model and do something innovative and surprising, not something rooted/mired in tradition.