Alibaba Group's one-day Global Shopping Festival will now be spread across October and November, the company said in a press release emailed to Retail Dive. This year, the company is hosting pre-sale events beginning Wednesday through Oct. 31 and between Nov. 4 and Nov. 10. These come in addition to the main event held on Nov. 11.
Though normally the platform focuses on more notable brands during its one-day festival, the company will be including more small businesses and up-and-coming brands during the extended sales events, per the company press release.
This year's sales events will feature more than 2 million products and 250,000 brands, including high-end brands like Balenciaga, Prada, Chloé and Cartier, the company said.
In addition to highlighting smaller companies during this year's sales events, Alipay, a payments platform and Alibaba subsidiary, is also offering vouchers and special promotions to shoppers in more than 100 Chinese cities, per a company press release. Consumers can take advantage of discounts from small businesses by searching for keywords on the Alipay app, the company said.
Beyond uplifting small businesses overseas, the platform is among other companies that have assisted U.S. businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. In June, the company rolled out merchandise transportation, financing and digital trade show tools for small and mid-sized merchants. Here in the U.S., other companies, including eBay and Facebook, have provided small businesses and entrepreneurs with resources to stay afloat during the coronavirus crisis.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic upended the retail sector, Alibaba's Singles Day events racked up billions of dollars in sales in 2018 and 2019. But as countries grapple with ebbs and flows in coronavirus cases, the company noted that not only has China's economy begun to recover, but brands are looking to the Chinese market for growth. Aside from expanding its sales events, the retail platform reportedly acquired a controlling stake in Sun Art, a major supermarket chain in China, on Monday for about $3.6 billion, according to Techcrunch.
But growing sales events and acquiring a significant grocery chain may sound familiar to those in the U.S. Amazon, which acquired Whole Foods a few years ago, also pushed back its Prime Day sales to October and is offering Black Friday-like deals with its Holiday Dash event. The retailer announced that the promotions leading up to Prime Day brought in $900 million in sales for small and medium-sized businesses.