In China, Singles Day is a shopping event like no other. In 2018, shoppers spent $30.8 billion on a single Sunday, far eclipsing comparable buying frenzies elsewhere around the world. If it were to come to the UK, Singles Day could mean a whole lot of business for owner drivers making deliveries all across the country. What Is Singles Day? |
Think of it like the opposite of Valentine’s. For more than a decade, China has celebrated the 11th November as an opportunity for people not in a relationship to go mad. You’ll notice that the date in numerals is 11-11, or several ones in a row. That’s why in China it’s referred to as the “bare sticks holiday.”
Due to its history with the one-child policy, China has a lot more men than women, which means that for years there’s been a massive gender imbalance. Now, a lot of those men are going unmarried. Originally, the event was just a chance for bachelors to celebrate their lack of a relationship. Then in 2009 the holiday was adopted by online shopping giant Alibaba, and since then it’s been a shopping free-for-all.
How Much Do People Buy?
Since Alibaba began promoting the holiday in 2009, it’s taken off like a rocket. In the first year, shoppers spent around £5 million online, but it ballooned to more than £500 million by 2011. And it’s kept growing, due to major sales targeted at single people such as travel tickets for one. Now it blows similar events like Black Friday out of the water.
Could It Come to the UK?
Black Friday started in the US and then migrated to the UK. Why couldn’t the same thing happen with Singles Day, too? There’s no reason it couldn’t catch on here. We all know people in the UK love to shop, and it’s hard to say no to a good deal.
British retailers have already started to get in on the action. In 2015, Topshop saw a massive increase in its sales on Singles Day, and other brands including Marks & Spencer, Waitrose and Whittard of Chelsea offer their products through Alibaba’s website with promotional discounts on that day. UK businesses are obviously interested in the holiday. The only thing left is to start promoting it at home. Of course, there might need to be a change in date, since 11 November is traditionally when we celebrate Remembrance Day.
What Would It Mean for an Owner Driver?
If this concept were to take root in the UK, this could be a new busy period for couriers delivering parcels. Millions of pounds in online purchases translate to lots of work delivering packages to every corner of the country. That in turn brings real profit opportunities to an owner driver.
Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world's largest neutral trading hub for same day owner driver jobs in the express freight exchange industry. Over 5,400 member companies are networked together through the Exchange to fill empty capacity, get new clients and form long-lasting business relationships.
Related Articles -