John McPheters, co-founder and CEO of Stadium Goods, holds the Tmall mascot in New York on Oct. 31, 2017. (Photo/China Daily)
Brands from the United States, from international names to local niche outfits, are gearing up for Alibaba's Singles Day shopping festival, the world's largest one-day online sales event, which begins at midnight on Friday.
This year, Singles Day sales are forecast to hit $23 billion, surpassing last year's $17.8 billion, when sales from overseas stores hit a record $15.5 billion. US retailers accounted for the second-largest demographic, trailing only Japan.
During last year's Singles Day, also known as 11/11, Costco of the US was the top retailer on Alibaba's main platform, Tmall.
The company sold about $3.14 million worth of products in a single hour, according to Alibaba. Other popular US brands last year were Apple, New Balance, Skechers and Nike.
This year, Dennis van Oossanen, vice-president of Nike Greater China Direct to Consumer, said the company "will launch key styles, such as Lebron XV Ashes, SF AF-1, XI Air Jordan Win Like '82, and products specially designed for China, to express on/off court basketball inspired lifestyles".
"We will fulfill consumer demand from 10 distribution centers and 50 Nike Direct stores, which gets us closer to where our consumers are," he wrote in an email to China Daily.
Stadium Goods, one of several sneaker resale companies in the US, entered the Chinese market last year.
"We had our first 11/11 last year, even though we were very new on the platform; it was our largest growth in a day," said John McPheters, CEO of the company.
"We now have very high hopes for how we are going to do on Tmall on 11/11. We think it's going to be our largest day ever," he said.
Alibaba said 140,000 brands－60,000 of them international labels－will offer more than 15 million products this year on Tmall. The Chinese company has pledged that this year's 24-hour shopping extravaganza will be an international event. It plans to offer more foreign products and services to buyers in the Chinese mainland.
The 11/11 gala event will be held in Shanghai and broadcast nationwide online and via satellite television.