In 2009 the Chinese company decided to launch an online promotional campaign during the country's traditional “Singles Day,” celebrated on November 11. Since then the online shopping bonanza has grown, with more and more retailers offering special discounts on the day. This year's promotional offers included fashion labels such as Calvin Klein and Zara for the first time, as word of the shopping day continues to spread across the globe.
Last year the company reported sales of 5.75 billion dollars and shipped more than 150 million packages during 'Singles Day.' Within the first hour of this year's offer, Alibaba reported sales of 2 billion dollars. At 11 pm. Beijing time, the company reported sales of close to 9 billion dollars and had shipped close to 250 million packages, breaking all previous records of online sales and becoming the world's largest online retail sales day.
Alibaba previously stated it expected to break sales records during its annual shopping event, but the sales exceeded even their's chairman expectations. “I bet the number [of goods bought] is going to be scary,” said Alibaba's executive chairman Jack Ma last week. He predicted that 200 million packages would be shipped during the day.