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China’s Singles Day – The World’s Biggest Shopping Event & A Major Driver For Toy Sales

China’s Singles Day – The World’s Biggest Shopping Event & A Major Driver For Toy Sales

The single biggest retail event of the year is Singles Day in China, held every November 11th. Chinese consumers spend $tens of billions in a frantic frenzy of consumption. There is no bigger statement of the spending power of China’s population than this mega event. It is bigger than any other retail event (such as Black Friday or Cyber Monday) to the tune of approximately 300%.

China’s consumers crave imported luxury items and brands, and this in turn drives significant opportunity for ‘Western’ consumer products companies. While the origins of Singles Day came from outside retail, Alibaba Group’s adoption of Singles Day across the decade or so has been mighty evidence of the power of the internet revolution. But more importantly it shows that China has truly arrived as a major modern economy and marketplace.

When Taylor Swift performed at the Singles Day opening gala in 2019 it marked a growing internationalisation of Singles Day, with the event expected to eventually grow in importance around the world.

While most of the best selling brands are fashion or household appliance related, there is obvious scope for a spike in toy sales. When people are shopping they are shopping,, and as the wealth and prosperity of China’s citizens grows so does their appetite for consumerism. Bearing in mind only half a lifetime back China was a poor agrarian economy, the vast advancement of spending power of China’s citizens has been meteoric but very recent. And as such many engrained habits seen as typical in the West are yet to fully take root in China. The toy business as a major influencer of child development and play looks set to benefit.

For those of us looking for distribution of toys into China, you can’t ignore the massive impact of Singles Day. And for those of us selling outside China, expect Singles Day to eventually roll round the world and to reach much further than the Chinese diaspora.


We run a Consultancy business for toy companies. We work with major toy companies through to start ups and one person bands. For more information on how we help toy companies grow their distribution around the world: www.KidsBrandInsight.com/services

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