Believe it or not, today marks the biggest retail holiday of the year. In fact, last year this holiday brought one retailer $9.3 billion in sales—in a single day. Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Yesterday wasn’t Thanksgiving, and today isn’t Black Friday.
And you’re on the right track—this isn’t an American retail holiday. While American consumers will certainly “shop ‘til they drop” on November 27, they won’t come even close to what Chinese consumers will spend on their own version of Black Friday, “Singles’ Day.”
If you’ve never heard of Singles’ Day, you’re certainly not alone in the Western world, but you’d be hard-pressed in China not to know this day. It started back in 1993 when a group of college students wanted to celebrate their “singlehood.” After all, today’s date is 11/11, a date with four solitary ones. In China, today is Valentine’s Day for single people. In 2009, Chinese retailer Alibaba (BABA) officially declared November 11 the largest shopping day of the year, when brands began offering generous “Singles’ Day” discounts on that company’s website. That’s how Alibaba pulled in $9.3 billion in sales one year ago today.
However, before you go investing in Alibaba I urge you to take a look at their D-rated profile in my Portfolio Grader tool.
There are other ways to increase your fortune with the massive revenue being generated by Singles’ Day.
With the Chinese middle class now totaling over 300 million people, you’d better believe brands around the world are taking notice of how significant their participation in this holiday is. That’s why even American giants like Apple (AAPL) started getting into the “Singles Day” game last year, and it paid off for them in spades.
In this quarter last year, China was Apple’s second-largest geographic source of revenue, bringing them $12.5 billion in sales, which was a 99% increase over the previous year. That helped contribute to Apple’s 17.7% earnings surprise that quarter. No doubt Apple’s participation in Singles’ Day was a big part of those stellar numbers.
With this year’s unveiling of the iPhone 6s and the Apple Watch, the tech giant might even pull a repeat performance, which would be no small feat. Apple is extremely popular in China, and the company has already announced a “special surprise” today on their Alibaba storefront. So if you want to take a closer look at where Apple’s stock stands right now, I urge you to go to my AAPL Portfolio Grader page.