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E-retailers brace for massive promotion (2)

By Chen Limin (China Daily)

10:14, November 10, 2012

The company sold spirits worth 10 million yuan ($1.6 million) in the event last year. Hao aims to boost sales by 10 times that amount on Sunday, which, if successful, will be the equivalent of a month in sales during the off-season.

"Sending out goods is the most challenging part," Hao said.

To achieve the goal, Hao has doubled the number of customer service staff to 100 and added three more warehouses from just one last year.

New automatic facilities have been put into use in the warehouses to facilitate work. The company can reduce the number of workers by 100 in the Beijing warehouse alone because of the automatic facilities, Hao said.

The Nov 11 event usually attracts a large number of online shoppers because of discounts. Daniel Zhang, president of Tmall, said on Wednesday that traffic to Tmall has exceeded the peak of last year's promotion.

The event, therefore, has attracted not only e-commerce vendors like Hao's company, but also traditional manufacturers that seldom use the Web as a sales channel.

This is the case for Beijing Toread Camping Equipment Co Ltd, a major camping-clothes maker in China.

"We are big with our brick-and-mortar stores, but not yet online," said Liu Yanli, who heads the company's e-commerce arm.

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