Johannesburg – In the year of the pandemic, Black Friday painted a somber mood in South Africa when compared to the shopping frenzy that the country has become accustomed to.
Shopping malls and major retailers such as Makro, Pick n Pay and Checkers have not experienced a huge influx of customers on the biggest shopping event of the year.
This could be because of the pandemic that SA and the rest of the world finds itself in, which possibly resulted in shoppers opting to shop from the comfort of their homes and offices through e-commerce platforms.
Another factor is the devastating impact that Covid-19 has had on the local and global economy, which resulted in citizens keeping their wallets closed and not spending as much as they used to.
Last year, travel and entertainment were some of the popular spend categories leading up to and during Black Friday as people booked flights and holidays for festive season.
Are you doing any #BlackFriday shopping today?
— Sunday World (@SundayWorldZA) November 27, 2020
However, this year FNB predicts a shift in popular spend categories as spend patterns have been markedly different since March 2020.
The shift is potentially due to lockdown restrictions and new consumer habits associated with adapting to the new normal in light of Covid-19.
CEO of FNB Card, Chris Labuschagne said, “Our insights show that spend on digital and technology, groceries and home improvement products has been consistently high since the start of lockdown in March this year. We expect this to continue into Black Friday due to persisting restrictions aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19. While consumer spend on travel and entertainment has been rising post the hard lockdown, it is unlikely to equate to levels we’ve seen in previous Black Fridays.”
Take a look at what South Africans have been tweeting about below:
#BlackFridaySA hype died when the black friday prices died too….
But watch em blame Covid
— Ｗ Λ Ⓑ ΛＮΞ (@andikho_ryt) November 27, 2020
It's Takealot not even trying for me. They legit have the same prices they've had all year. #BlackFridaySA
— 💫 nomalanga; (@Tsatsi_N) November 27, 2020
I hope you’ll are spending money you have on things you can afford #BlackFridaySA
— Ancillar (@ancillarnombewu) November 27, 2020
We should not be shocked that #BlackFridaySA isn't what it was last year. Its been a difficult year. Job loss and the pandemic.
— Sandi8 (@Sandiside) November 27, 2020
We can use this #BlackFridaySA to punt and plug Black businesses. Please reply with detailed information of what you’re selling, your client might be on the TL. Let’s go!
— Executive Mayor Rami Chuene (@ramichuene) November 27, 2020