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By Vukosi Maluleke

Digital Journalist

A tough economy won’t stop SA from splurging on Black Friday

Expert said despite a tough economy, Mzansi is likely to 'stock up' once again this year.

Thin pockets and trimmed budgets amid a tough economy will not stop South Africans from filling up their trolleys on Black Friday.

As the annual mega sale event looms closer, thousands of customers are expected to flood retail stores countrywide to take advantage of the specials.

However, it’s difficult to ignore the negative impact of high interest rates, fuel price hikes and record-high inflation which have left consumers with little to spend.

A chance to spend stock up

Independent Economist Elize Kruger said, “these have been claiming a bigger portion of household budgets compared to a year earlier.”

While acknowledging that consumers have become price-sensitive given the ongoing pressures on disposable income, Kruger however anticipates the likelihood to spend more.

“Black Friday will most probably be used as an opportunity to stock up on well-priced goods,” she said.

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Emerging trend

According to Kruger, retail sales growth moderating during the November to December period has been one of the emerging trends since the start of Black Friday in SA.

“Following a brief reprieve in this trend in 2020 and 2021, and given the distortion created by Covid-19 pandemic, this shopping trend resumed in 2022.” she said.

“This is likely to continue in 2023 as consumers spend earlier to capitalise on the bargains offered on Black Friday,” she added.

BankservAfrica Chief Customer Officer, Martin Grunewald, said the company logged a total of 1.2 million transactions on their online card authentication service. These amounted to more than R1 billion, representing a 42% year-on-year growth.

“Based on the annual growth observed, we’re expecting to see another good year,” said Grunewald.

ALSO READ: As online shopping grows, so do the complaints


Meanwhile, despite the current economic challenges, BankservAfrica noted an improvement in consumer inflation over the last 12 months – down from 7.4% in November 2022 to 5.4% in September 2023.

Furthermore, BankservAfrica’s Take-home Pay Index indicated that average salaries had increased by 5.6% y/y in the third quarter.

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