Weekly News Wrap: Chinese brands dominated Singles Day best-sellers; Alibaba did not disclose 11.11 sales for the first time

And Shein opens its first physical store in Tokyo.

From Reuters:

Chinese consumers clutched their wallets tight on this year's Singles Day and continued seeking relatively economical home brands over pricier expensive labels, as strict COVID-19 curbs and economic uncertainty weighed on the shopping extravaganza.

From the evening of Oct. 31 through Thursday, more than 2,000 items generated sales exceeding $1.4m (RMB10m) each on the Tmall marketplace, more than half of them Chinese brands, according to data from the platform owned by e-commerce conglomerate Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

Alibaba said Singles Day sales were in line with last year when gross merchandise value rose 8.5%, the lowest since the company started the shopping event in 2009. For the first time, Alibaba did not announce sales data this year.

The shopping festival, which has expanded from a one-day online event into a lengthy spree, is seen as a barometer for consumer sentiment in the world's second-biggest economy.

READ MORE: Weekly News Wrap: UK-based Ocado enters South Korea in Lotte deal; Reliance Retail in talks to enter salon business


From Bloomberg:

Alibaba Group Holding decided not to disclose full sales results for its signature Singles’ Day shopping festival for the first time, after forecasts that the figure may suffer a decline unprecedented in the event’s 14-year history.

Alibaba said in a statement gross merchandise value (GMV) was “in line with last year’s GMV performance despite macro challenges and Covid-related impact.” Sales last year reached $76.1b (RMB540.3b). Some 290,000 brands participated in 2022, the same as in 2021.

The event had become the world’s largest shopping festival, dwarfing Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the US in terms of size and growth. Analysts long relied on the sales figure to gauge the health of China’s economy as well as the country’s No. 1 e-commerce platform operator.


From Bloomberg:

Online fast-fashion behemoth Shein has opened its first-ever permanent physical store, setting up shop in one of Tokyo’s most popular areas as it seeks to live up to a lofty valuation that’s been shaken by slowing sales growth and concerns about its environmental and social impacts.

The two-story showroom, decorated mostly in grey tones, is located on Cat Street, an alley that runs between Harajuku and Shibuya and is a haven of culture and fashion. The 200-sqm venue has three changing rooms and a photo booth for shoppers to capture their outfits, and will also showcase bags and cosmetics, according to the company.

The opening follows the popularity of pop-up shops both in Japan and abroad, and the venue may also be used for events, according to Shein.

Despite the foray into brick-and-mortar retail, customers will still have to do all their ordering online.

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