By Todd Marcum, President
With the conspicuous consumption of the holiday season looming and visions of Black Friday sales dancing like sugar plums in shopper’s heads, the idea of another new holiday has been gaining quiet traction among American retailers.
A new holiday to honor another patriot? A civil rights leader? A prominent date in the nation’s history? Who’s got time for that? But a recent Money article mentioned a holiday I think people could really get behind.
In China, Nov. 11 (a.k.a. 11/11) is celebrated as Singles Day. Because of the disparate ratio of males to available females, Bachelor’s Day originated in the 1990s as an anti-Valentine’s Day when those without significant others were encouraged to celebrate their non-attached status by purchasing gifts for themselves. From there, it evolved into a day when any Chinese consumer can get themselves whatever they damn-well please without regrets (except possibly for when the credit card bill arrives). China’s largest e-retailer, Alibaba, reportedly surpassed $9 billion in sales in 24 hours, more than four times the sales of Cyber Monday in the U.S.
Alibaba CEO Jack Ma told CNBC he expects the U.S. and the rest of the world to join in Singles Day celebrations by 2019 if not sooner.
While November 11 is an unlikely date (it’s already Veteran’s Day), six out of ten of us self-gifted in the 2013 holiday seasons. Polls indicate that more than half of us would be willing to participate in a self-gifting holiday…and why not? For most of us, “we” are one of our favorite people.
All this could have massive implications for retailers, advertisers and online providers. Myself, I’ve had my eye on a vintage Mickey Mantle baseball card. So tell me, what would you self-gift?