Consumers / Event / Results

Pent-up demand leading shoppers to splash out

Money saved during the lockdown period earlier this year is being splashed around during the 11.11 festival as shoppers treat themselves to something special, analysts say.

It’s been a strange year for Chinese consumers. They saved money duringan unprecedented lockdown earlier this year, but they aren’t traveling, said Jacques Penhirin, a partner at research firm Oliver Wyman, which conducted a survey on spending intentions ahead of 11.11.

Penhirin told CNNthat shoppers were approaching Singles Day with an indulgent mindset. For example, a shopper who usually buys Maybelline makeup, he said, might now be treating themselves to Yves Saint Laurent on sale as part of the festival.

“Now it’s time to be indulgent,” he said.

Oliver Wyman’s survey found that 86% of Chinese consumers were planning to spend the same as or more than they did during last year’s 11.11.

Forrester analyst Xiaofeng Wang told CNN: “China’s economy has seen a strong recovery and Chinese consumers’ purchase behaviors have already returned to pre-pandemic levels, if not higher.”

Sales at 11.11 break records every year and this year appears to be no different, with several hours of the final 24-hour buying window still to go. Alibaba reported earlier today that consumers had spent RMB372.3 billion (US$56.3 billion in just the first 30 minutes of today’s event, combined with the first shopping window, which ran November 1-3.

The addition of the earlier shopping window, designed to give brands and shoppers more time to connect in the hope of giving businesses a post-pandemic boost, means Alibaba sales have already smashed last year’s 24-hour total, of RMB268.4 billion ($40.5 billion).