Shanghai’s two-month Double Five shopping festival got off to a strong start on Monday evening, with online and offline sales exceeding 15.6 billion yuan (US$2.2 billion) in its first 24 hours, local media outlets reported.
Combined sales from the city’s online and offline channels soared to 2.3 billion yuan within the first four hours after the festival started and crossed the 10 billion yuan mark 20 hours after the event launched, according to English-language newspaper Shanghai Daily, citing the Shanghai Commerce Commission.By 10am on Tuesday – 14 hours after the festival started – some outlets of Alibaba Group Holding’s online-to-offline supermarket chain Freshippo were wiped clean of stocks, news site The Paper reported. Alibaba is the parent company of the Post.
The Shanghai municipal government announced the Double Five festival on April 23 as part of measures to “boost consumer confidence and unleash the potential of consumer demand”. Officials said at a press conference that the measures will support local businesses recovering from a slowdown in consumer spending during the recent Covid-19 outbreak.Offline retailers have been hit particularly hard by the outbreak, as shopping malls, stores and restaurants were closed or had to severely curtail their business. Conversely, e-commerce platforms have seen a surge in activity from millions of consumers staying home during coronavirus-related lockdowns that lasted more than two months.
The number of new merchants live-streaming on Alibaba’s Taobao shopping platform jumped by more than eight times in one month from January to February and transactions grew more than 160 per cent year-on-year in March, according to China’s largest e-commerce company.
Meanwhile, sales on JD.com-backed grocery delivery JD Daojia nearly quadrupled in the first 10 days of the Lunar New Year holiday, which started on January 24.