id=»article-body» class=»row» section=»article-body»> The 11/11 Global Shopping Festival, or Singles Day for short, generates more online sales than Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Prime Day put together.
James Martin/CNET This story is part of Holiday Gift Guide 2019, your source for the season’s best gifts and deals, hand-picked by the experts at CNET. Updated Nov. 11 at 9:26 a.m. PT with the latest Singles Day and Veterans Day offers and deals available now. Most expire at the end of today.
With almost $31 billion in retail sales last year alone, China’s yearly 24-hour 11/11 Global Shopping Festival is now bigger than Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the weekend in between combined. Adobe Analytics predicts this year’s five-day Thanksgiving weekend will drive about $29 billion in online sales. So, why have so few Americans even heard of Singles Day?
The history of the world’s biggest shopping day of the year begins with a much smaller, lonelier numeral — the number 1. The unofficial Chinese holiday celebrated every Nov. 11 started out as Singles Day in 1993, when students at Nanjing University in China’s Jiangsu province began hosting singles parties meant to counter the negative social stigma associated with singlehood. Since this was a holiday designed to bring singles together, they chose the date with the most 1s — 11/11 — to celebrate. And it only grew from there, especially after being supercharged by Chinese retail giants Alibaba and JD in the more recent online era — right down to including a giant Taylor Swift concert to boot.
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Thus far, efforts to internationalize the big shopping day haven’t caught on — the date is Veterans Day in the US, Armistice Day in Europe. But in the end, it may come down to semantics and SEO: Whether you call it a Veterans Day sale, an early Black Friday sale or a Singles Day sale — a deal’s a deal, right?
To that end, we’re pulling together the best sales we’re seeing.