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Alibaba’s 11.11 Global Shopping Festival, also known as Double 11 or Singles’ Day, takes place on November 11 every year and it has now become the world’s biggest 24-hour online sale. This report series covers the various shopping festivals and developments in New Retail that are taking place in the lead up to this event.

  • Alibaba’s currently running shopping event is the National Day Golden Week Promotion, which is being held September 28–October 7 on Alibaba’s Tmall. 
  • The event promotes home appliances, furniture and musical instruments, among other products, and participating brands include Dyson, Haier, Hisense, Panasonic, and Philips.
  • Alibaba’s Taobao and Test-Rite International—a Taiwan-based household products retailer—collaborated to open a smart store, dubbed Taobao x Hoi!, in Taipei, Taiwan.
  • Taobao x Hoi! has several New Retail features, including digital display of furniture products, in which customers can view 3D models of the products in a virtual home setting. Customers can also scan brochures of selected products in the RFID reading area and read details of the products, including the manufacturing process.

Countdown to 11.11

Since its launch in 2009, Double 11, or Singles’ Day, has become synonymous with online shopping festivals in China. It has also spurred the launch of many similar shopping festivals, such as 6.18 Shopping Festival, held June 1–18 and 8.8 Members Festival on August 8. These events are listed in Figure 1.

Recent Festivals

National Day Golden Week Promotion (September 28–October 7)

Currently running on Alibaba’s Tmall, this event promotes home appliances, furniture, laptops, books and musical instruments, and participating brands include Dyson, Haier, Hisense, Panasonic, Philips, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, TCL and Xiaomi. 

In this sale, products are sold at discounts which can be as steep as 70%. A Qinyuan water purifier, for example, is selling at a discount of 72% on its regular price of  ¥4,999 (US$726), and a Flyco electric shaver is selling at a discount of more than 74% on its regular price of ¥499 (US$72). The discounts offered on some products in this sale are listed in Figure 2.  

What’s New in New Retail?

The Taobao x Hoi! Smart Store in Taiwan

Taobao has cooperated with Test-Rite International—a Taiwanese retailer and operator of chain stores of furniture, home appliances and kitchen products—to launch a smart store, dubbed Taobao x Hoi!, in Taipei, Taiwan.

Taobao x Hoi! has several New Retail features:

  • Digital display: customer can view 3D models of the furniture products in a virtual home setting via digital screens. They can click into products and read product information and place an order if they want.
  • RFID technology: Customers can scan brochures of selected products in the RFID reading area and read details of the products, including the manufacturing process.

This and other noteworthy developments in New Retail in China and nearby regions are listed in Figure 3. 

Investments and Acquisitions in New Retail

To expand their New Retail capacities, Alibaba, Tencent and JD.com have invested in logistics firms, online marketplaces, content creation companies, brick-and-mortar stores, etc. Listed in Figures 4, 5 and 5 are recent investments of and acquisitions by these companies, along with investment dates, investees and the industry segments they are in, and funding details.

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