BOTH ONLINE and brick and mortar retailers pulled out all the stops to attract foot traffic to their outlets for this year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday bonanza, bolstered by the faster-than-expected recovery of the economy due to the relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions.
A study conducted by the Bureau of Market Research, on behalf of Capital Connect, said retailers could expect to ring up around R11.3 billion in additional sales over the period of November as consumers splashed out on Black Friday deals, up from R10.3bn a year ago.
The R11.3bn was, however, significantly below the R15.4bn generated in 2019.
In terms of specials, Shoprite, South Africa’s biggest retailer, led the way by offering deeper discounts from Thursday until today with up to 50 percent off on items including everyday essentials, and toys.
Shoprite said, in response to Covid19, that this year, deals would be valid for four days to give customers more time to plan and shop, and to prevent overcrowding.
“Rather than running an extended promotion with limited savings, the four days of concentrated Black Friday deals mean Shoprite and Checkers are staying true to the ethos of this promotion – deep discounts,” said Shoprite.
Pick n Pay said instant coffee, carbonated soft drinks, men and women’s
T-shirts, nappies, rice, long-life UHT milk, cooking oil and televisions were some of the popular Black Friday purchases. It said 23 million cups of coffee could have been made with the instant coffee sold, 7.5 million meals could have been made with the amount of rice sold and enough TVs were sold on Black Friday to furnish almost all households in a small suburb.
Andrew Mills, the group executive of marketing at Pick n Pay, said Black Friday in South Africa had evolved over the past few years.
“When it first launched, many customers used it to snap up the latest TVs and gadgets. But shoppers are increasingly using the massive savings
to stock up for the festive season or restock their pantry with everyday non-perishable items,” Mills said.
Lewis Group, the southern African focused furniture group, said that unlike many retailers that had adopted the month-long Black November promotion it had opened sales on Friday.
“We are not one of those retailers to launch Black Friday ahead of time. We believe that consumers are streetwise. They are waiting to see which retailers have the best specials before going to shop,” said chief executive Johan Enslin.
Enslin said Lewis customers had been invited to shop on Thursday, and the general public on Black Friday.
“One of the biggest challenges that retailers have been facing over the last 18 months is shortage of stock.
“I can share with you that 99 percent of the stock we are advertising is already in the store rooms of our stores in southern Africa. We have big marketing muscle behind all of this and we are ready to do big sales numbers.
“If we are successful in executing our strategy, Black Friday will be the biggest trading day of the year and will even be bigger than the 23rd of December,” he said.
However, Massmart, the owners of Makro, Game and Builders, released new Black Friday deals each week during the full month of November, rather than on a single day. The deals were released on a Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday each week rather than on a single Black Friday.
Ozow chief executive Thomas Pays said Ozow saw a major spike of transactions over the last week in comparison to 2020. “The biggest spike in transactions to-date has been on November 25, which coincides with payday. However, we are seeing a notable increase today (Black Friday),” Pays said.
BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE