For the longest time, retailers and shoppers would gear up for Boxing Day – it was considered the day when one could get the best deals on anything. But with Singles Day and Black Friday around, are we still saving our wallets for December 26?
Best Deals of the Year?
The holiday first began in the 1980s, but its origins were far less commercial than it is today.
No one quite knows how it all began, but it’s believed to have its roots in the Christmas tradition of unboxing gifts for the less fortunate.
Before Christmas, retailers expected great profits, and after Christmas, Boxing Day sales were a way to attract people back into stores – even after they had done all their Christmas shopping.
But that all changed during the 1990s recession, when retailers were really struggling, and became desperate for sales.
So many started offering great bargains even before Christmas, and it grew into an addictive habit – for shoppers and retailers alike.
Now, in attempt to boost Boxing Day sales, some retailers have extended the one-day affair into a week-long shopping spree called ‘Boxing Week’.
Still, the pioneering shopping day is being challenged by some new kids on the block.
Thank God It’s (Black) Friday
If you’re in the US, you know that the holiday season is here not by the change in season, but by change in banners at your local shopping mall.
And for most in the West, Black Friday sales have been led by ‘the three As’ – Amazon, Apple and WalMart’s Asda.
In recent years, its 24-hour shopping sprees have beaten Boxing Day sales and even caused stampedes in some malls.
25 November, or Black Friday originates from Philadelphia in the early 1950s, when retailers used the term to describe the pre-Christmas commercial windfall.
And now it’s still holding on tight to consumers wallets.
In 2014, it was the biggest shopping day in the UK, with over USD 1 billion splashed in just one day.
But its closest rival is also pulling at shoppers’ wallets.
Singles Day Madness
If you haven’t heard of 11:11 you must be living in a cave. Because at midnight on 11 November, the world’s greatest shopping spree begins.
Singles Day, its official name, started in the 1990s, when young single people got together to celebrate.
But when Alibaba co-opted it in 1999, it turned the day into a shopping event.
Today, as you probably already know, it’s a 20-day long spree reaching feverish proportions.
This year, its sales outpaced both US sales on Black Friday and Cyber Monday – combined.
Not only that, Alibaba even set a world record for the most payment transactions with its online payment platform Alipay, processing 256,000 payment transactions in just one second.
And in just one day, the number of deliveries surpassed one billion.
But if you can’t visual all that, try this instead.
In 2013, two million bras were sold in just one hour, making a pile three times the height of Mount Everest.