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Offline Singles’ Day Sale scores a decent debut; malls see rise in footfall

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It wasn’t a runway success, nor did it become a hit like the Black Day Sale event. But brands, and hosting them, saw encouraging enthusiasm on the country’s first Singles’ Day Sale — popularly referred to as 11/11 Sale abroad as it is held on November 11 every year — on Friday.


Leading from across the country reported an increase in footfall with owners suggesting it could be because of the offers. Select CityWalk in the capital was more crowded than a usual Friday. “We have seen a 5-7 per cent increase in footfall today (Friday) compared to previous Fridays. Some offering discounts might have been a reason for this,” Yogeshwar Sharma, CEO, Select Citywalk mall, told Business Standard.


Major such as Aldo, Beverly Hills Polo Club, and Bath and Body Works also hosted Singles’ Day sales.


Aldo came up with a one-day buy-one-get-one offer, while its body care and fragrance brand — Bath and Body Works — also had a similar deal at its stores and its website on Friday. Its brand, Beverly Hills Polo Club, also offered a flat 40 per cent off and an additional 11 per cent discount.


“An as evolving global concept, Singles’ Day is only getting bigger. To extend the celebration to our customers in India, we ran special offers for some of our (Aldo/Bath and Body Works), and received a fabulous response,” Abhishek Bajpai, CEO, Major Brands.


However, Bajpai did not share an estimate on how much sales went up as compared to normal days.


Beauty and skincare brand, The Body Shop, also offered a discount and saw its sales increase in double-digits. “The day 11/11 marks a very exciting day for us as we successfully concluded one of the most awaited 24-hour events, the ‘Singles’ Day Sale’. It was a good opportunity for our loyal buyers to avail of the limited buy-one-get-one offer. We are elated to see equal success at all channels and acceptance of the event,” Vishal Chaturvedi, VP, The Body Shop South Asia, said.


Other brands, which have also offered discounts include Puma, Sephora and Shoppers Stop. Online players such as Nykaa and Tata Cliq also offered discounts on the day.


Singles’ Day Sale started in China (see box) and brands in India have warmed up to the idea to push sales. Three to four years ago, brands in India jumped into the Black Friday Sale bandwagon, which is typically famous in the US. Now, most brands in India offer discounts on the day.


An executive of a brand explained that sales typically dip post-Diwali till Christmas and events like Black Friday Sale — which is on November 25 — give a push to sales during this lacklustre period.


THE HISTORY


Singles’ Day Sale, which falls on November 11 every year, is an unofficial holiday in China, celebrating people who are not in a relationship. The idea originated at China’s Nanjing University in 1993 as a sort of anti-Valentine’s Day. For the past few years, brands have been offering discounts on the day to draw shoppers. Now, the concept has crossed over to other countries.

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