November 11 is a day of reverence for most Canadians and other citizens of commonwealth and European nations, but in Asia, the date has adopted an entirely different meaning.
Singles Day, designated because of the 11/11 date, originated at Nanjing University in China in 1993 and has grown into a celebration of single people as well as the largest online shopping day of the year.
While Canadians have long designated Boxing Day as the day to abandon one’s family in search of blockbuster deals, Black Friday (Nov. 28) and Cyber Monday (Dec. 1) have creeped into our Canuck vernacular as cross-border and online shopping have increased. If one day of shopping isn’t enough, post-Christmas sales event called Boxing Week might be able to sate your shopping urges.
Alibaba, the largest e-commerce retailer in China, had its largest sales day ever with $9.3-billion (U.S.) in transactions. For comparison, Cyber Monday sales reached $2.29-billion in the United States.
Could Singles Day cross the ocean and language barriers for an additional day of discounts for Canadian shoppers?
Industry Minister James Moore tweeted that he met with Alibaba CEO Jack Ma, about opening a new office in Vancouver, which would certainly raise awareness of the company’s top sales day.
The 11/11 date, however, is very much taken in the nation consciousness for Remembrance Day ceremonies.
It might take an enterprising businessperson to spark Singles Day – and Singles Day sales – in Canada on a new date.
Until then, there’s always Boxing Day.