Black Friday is an American shopping holiday of sorts which has now become a big deal in South Africa. In the United States of America, Black Friday takes place the day after Thanksgiving or on the fourth Friday of November. It marks the beginning on the Christmas shopping season. However, the past couple of years, this shopping phenomenon has taken over South Africa as well. The Daily Vox team rounds up what you should really know about Black Friday.
Black Friday has been growing in prominence since 2014, when supermarket chain Checkers first introduced the shopping trend to South Africa, according to Stefan Salzer, a partner and managing director at Boston Consulting Group South Africa.
Speaking to The Daily Vox, Gerald Mwandiambira, the acting CEO of the South African Savings Institute said the reason that the shopping trend seems to have taken off in South Africa and become a prominent feature in the South African consumer calender is simply because South Africans love to shop and spend money. He added that South Africans will find any reason to spend money and it is for that reason that Black Friday has become so popular.
Consumer spending in South Africa has been on the rise, increasing from R 1 884 552 in the second quarter of 2017 from R 1 865 094 in the first quarter of 2017. This is despite the high debt and high jobless rate facing the country.
Mwandiambira said the spending that will take place on Black Friday will leave a significant hole for many consumers which they might only be able to fill next year.
However, Black Friday is not all bad, especially if people remember one important thing before heading out to the mall: planning. If you decide to hit the shops on Black Friday to pick up bargains and take advantage of the deals being offered by most stores, make sure to plan before doing so.
Mwandiambira said that Black Friday works for those who have planned for it: “If it was not part of your plan and you did not structure it, then you shouldn’t be really spending,” he said.
If you have not planned for Black Friday and are just going to spend the day online and at the malls, trawling for the best deal, Mwandiambira has some advice for you: stay at home and off the internet. This will help you avoid overspending, both in store and online.
Do consumers benefit from the day at all? Mwandiambira said supermarkets work using economics – they do put out good deals, knowing that they more things they sell, the more money they make. He added that supermarkets do bring value to many families and that Black Friday is an opportunity to stock up on things for the festive season and even for the new year in terms of school uniforms and stationery.
Are you planning to attend the sales? Or do you think it’s just an exploitation scheme from big companies? Comment below or tweet us @thedailyvox