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In This List

Alibaba's Singles Day splurge puts Black Friday in the shade

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Alibaba's Singles Day splurge puts Black Friday in the shade

Scenes of desperate shoppers trading blows over flatscreen TVs and vacuum cleaners have become a feature of Black Friday, the post-Thanksgiving flash sale that has turned into a weeklong staple of the retail calendar.

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Source: Alibaba

Not so on Nov. 11, when China celebrates its own shopping bonanza, Singles Day. Also known as "Double 11" or 11.11, the event has been spearheaded by internet juggernaut Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and its many online marketplaces. Not only is there less violence than on Black Friday, but there is also a lot more money spent. Total Black Friday sales in 2018 were estimated by Adobe Analytics at $6.22 billion. Alibaba's preliminary total for this year's Singles Day was $38.40 billion.

The scale of the event is truly something to behold. Pop star Taylor Swift began the proceedings with a performance in Shanghai, the latest in a line of celebrity guests that has included Mariah Carey, Kobe Bryant and Daniel Craig. By 6:31 p.m., Alibaba had received more than 1.04 billion orders, surpassing the previous year's total.

Major Western brands, including L'Oréal, Mondelēz and Nestlé were keen to take advantage. "It is clear that Chinese consumers, male and women, would like to upgrade their lifestyles, and 11.11 is a really great moment to engage with them," Stephane Wilmet, chief customer officer at L'Oréal, told Alibaba's Alizila news site.

The timing appears ideal for Alibaba. Concerns have been raised about the impact of China's slowing GDP growth on consumer spending, but that has not materialized just yet, at least for this company. That will be a crucial message for potential investors later this month when Alibaba is expected to push ahead with its second stock market listing in Hong Kong.

Consumer Edge is a weekly collection of critical developments across the automotive; retail; and food, beverage, and tobacco industries. Drawing on exclusive analysis and value-added content from the Consumer News team at S&P Global Market Intelligence, it is published every Thursday. Click here to subscribe.

Chart of the week

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CEO: Uber expects profitability by 2021

The ride-hailing company said its target is total company EBITDA profitability for full year 2021.

CEO: Ferrari expects 2020 EBIT drop from retooling of non-auto branded products

The Italian automaker expects a short-term pullback in EBIT but longer-term growth once Ferrari refocuses its approach to products that bear the company's name and logo, executives said Nov. 4.


Tiffany takeover talk nudges consumer discretionary stocks up 0.3% in October

The S&P 500 Consumer Discretionary index ticked up 0.3% during the month, compared to the 2.2% increase in the overall S&P 500 index.

Analysts skeptical US-China tariff rollback will lead to lasting trade peace

Several analysts said a deal announced by China for it and the U.S. to roll back tariffs on each other's goods does not fully inspire hope that the trade dispute between the two nations will end soon.

Amazon, Facebook lead lobbying spending as big tech scrutiny grows

Amazon and Facebook are the top spenders on lobbying among individual companies for the year through Oct. 23, according to the most recent data from the Center for Responsive Politics' website.

Food, Beverage & Tobacco

McDonald's CEO change comes amid technology, menu challenges

The fast-food giant's decision to replace its CEO comes as McDonald's navigates challenges including new technology, fierce menu competition and maintaining positive relationships with franchisees, experts said.

Canada's legal cannabis market gains majority share as usage rises

The legal market supplied more than half of the country's cannabis in the second and third quarters of the year, according to a recent government survey.

S&P 500 Consumer Staples index inches down in October

The index booked a 0.1% loss, underperforming the broader S&P 500 that grew 2.2% during the month.

Keurig Dr Pepper's allied brands growing slower than expected, CEO says

The allied brands segment is not building distribution and velocity at the expected rate, the executive said.

Monster under no threat from Coca-Cola Energy, executives say

Monster executives said they plan to manage whatever impact the U.S. launch of Coca-Cola Energy may have in 2020.

CFO: Sysco expects more M&A activity in food service industry

Sysco announced several acquisitions this year, including California-based distributors J & M Wholesale Meats and Imperio Foods. The company's CFO anticipates more M&A activity and consolidation in the industry going into 2020.

S&P 500 Consumer Staples and Discretionary indices

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