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UK sales could hit £1.3bn on Singles Day 2019

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Despite many British shoppers having never heard of Singles’ Day, the shopping event – taking place this year on 11th November –  is predicted to see almost £1.3bn in UK sales alone, according to a new report.

The Shopping for Christmas 2019 report, commissioned by and carried out by the Centre for Retail Research (CRR), reveals that the UK is forecast to have the highest Singles’ Day sales in Europe for the 24-hour discount event. Purchases with participating retailers such as Amazon, Sports Direct and ASOS, are expected to increase by £170m on last year to reach £1.29bn in 2019 – yet more than four in five shoppers (83.5%) have never heard of the day.

Originating from Chinese corporation Alibaba, the day was initially created for singletons in China to buy themselves gifts due to a surplus of men, a result of the one-child policy. Today, many consumers are embracing the discounts and buying themselves gifts regardless of their relationship status.

While Singles’ Day sales are increasing rapidly in Europe and North America year-on-year, awareness in Europe is still relatively low. It is highest in Germany, where 19.2% of shoppers have heard of the discount day, compared with 16.5% in the UK.

Jimmy New, Head of Marketing at “Black Friday is undoubtedly the shopping occasion at the front of everyone’s mind at this time of year, but it may be time for UK businesses to start paying attention to Singles’ Day. Whilst the Chinese shopping phenomenon is still in its relative infancy in Europe – a small number of retailers took part in the promotions in 2018 – this could be set to change in 2019.

“Our latest report created with the Centre for Retail Research (CRR) demonstrates there is definitely a growing appetitie amongst consumers for Singles’ Day, with revenue expected to rise by 13% vs 2018. Whilst this is still far below what is expected from Black Friday (last year British consumers spent over £25.5bn across the Black Friday weekend), it’s encouraging to see such a significant increase in spending year-on-year.

“We work in collaboration with our partners across all key shopping dates to ensure they are poised to take advantage of these lucrative opportunities and engage with their customers. For retailers who would like to take advantage of Single’s Day by creating a specialised sales strategy, we recommend focusing on raising awareness of the event – currently only 16.5% of UK customers are aware of Singles’ Day. Therefore it’s the retailers who successfully engage this relatively untapped customer base on Singles’ Day who are most likely to reap the rewards. We’re yet to see if Singles’ Day can grow at the same rate that Black Friday has, but it’s definitely a trend to watch.”

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