The official numbers aren’t quite in but it seems like South African retailers got the most out of Black Friday. Now that the dust has settled, we look at what Black Friday meant for South African business.
Stats released by marketing agency 25am, suggest that social media conversation around Black Friday has almost tripled in comparison to 2015. This shows that businesses are beginning to take the day seriously and recognise the impact it can have in terms of boosting cash flow and attracting new clients.
“We were wary in the beginning that it wouldn’t take off but then we saw it spread across Europe, the UK and Asia and so we launched it here three years ago,” said Neil Schreuder, marketing director for Checkers.
For many retailers, Black Friday was a chance to get rid of old stock they hadn’t sold during the year or move overstock that had begun piling up. The concern, though, is that many consumers will have used Black Friday to do their Christmas shopping which could mean a dip in sales around the festive season.
What is clear from social media and traditional media, is customers made full use of Black Friday specials which can only have had a positive impact on retailers’ bottom lines.
Shoppers break down Checkers door on Black Friday:
“We see a massive adoption of North American retail trends in South Africa – it is tested, it works and is already embedded in the minds of South Africans.” - Dion Chang, trends expert and founder of Flux Trends.
Last year ABSA reported that card spend increased by 81% on Black Friday compared to the average day throughout the year, and by 40% on Cyber Monday. While the official 2016 stats are not out yet, the queues and pandemonium suggest that it was definitely business as unusual for retailers.