The Alibaba Group, the Chinese online retailers who just went public in late September with spectacular success, has broken records with their one-day sales totals of over $9 billion on the created holiday of Singles’ Day. This new holiday, created in 2009 as a sort of anti- Valentine’s Day, has been a target for the company in terms of marketing, offering deep discounts to singles buying themselves presents as part of the celebration. The numbers showed early signs of reaching this new high point, hitting $1 billion in sales in less than 20 minutes, and $2 billion in under an hour. Last year’s total of around $5.75 billion was blown away.
Since the Alibaba Group went public, stock prices have soared, making the company worth more than even Wal-Mart. The sales numbers for the Singles’ Day event have exceeded all expectations, but represent only half of the equation. They must now deliver on the promise of those sales and get hundreds of millions of packages to the consumers who placed the orders in about 24 hours. This by far exceeds the normal numbers the company is used to shipping in a day. Execution will be a deciding factor to identify the real impact of these $9 billion in sales on the long-term projections for the ability of the Alibaba Group to sustain this inflated stock price. In the brief period since the day’s sales closed, some confidence in the company’s ability to live up to that execution goal has wavered. The company is having its worst day ever so far, with stock dropping in price approximately 3.7 percent at this point in the day.
By Jim Malone