Shop­pers keep hu­mour de­spite crush

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - SPORT - Di­neo Faku

SCORES of shop­pers braved queues to take ad­van­tage of Black Fri­day spe­cials with South Africans’ sense of hu­mour not lost as some called for dis­counts of up to 50 per­cent for lobola while oth­ers cau­tioned of a “broke” Mon­day.

Bar­gain hunters filled trol­leys with gro­cery items rang­ing from toi­let pa­per to fizzy drinks and wash­ing pow­der. Elec­tronic prod­ucts such as TV sets and cell­phones were also pop­u­lar.

Brenda Bok­aba, a mother of two from White City, Soweto, waited in a queue at Check­ers at the East­gate shop­ping cen­tre in Joburg from 6.15am where she said she saved R259.

Bok­aba said she re­garded her­self as a sea­soned Black Fri­day shop­per.

“Black Fri­day comes at the last day of Novem­ber; peo­ple know this in ad­vance and should save,” she said.

“I have been sav­ing from Jan­uary by putting away R100 a month.

“My ad­vice is to save as soon as you buy school uni­forms and sta­tionery for your chil­dren in Jan­uary.”

Bok­aba also said shop­pers should be ac­com­pa­nied by at least one per­son to min­imise the stress.

Mwamba Chanda, from Orange Grove, Joburg, said this was her first Black Fri­day shop­ping ven­ture.

“I can­not be­lieve that peo­ple have been in queues for so long.

“I am plan­ning to buy what­ever items are cheap,” she said.

An­other shop­per, who spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity, said that she no longer be­lieved monthly gro­cery shop­ping was sus­tain­able.

“I do not buy monthly gro­ceries be­cause it is too ex­pen­sive.

“I take ad­van­tage of spe­cials like Black Fri­day. My ad­vice is for oth­ers too,” she said.

Black Fri­day, which be­gan in the US and is re­garded as the first day of the Christ­mas shop­ping sea­son on which re­tail­ers make many spe­cial of­fers, has be­come pop­u­lar among South African shop­pers too.

This year it came as con­sumer con­fi­dence hit its worst level since 1982, ac­cord­ing to the FNB/Bureau for Eco­nomic Re­search.

How­ever, this didn’t de­ter re­tail­ers from us­ing Black Fri­day as an op­por­tu­nity to en­tice shop­pers through pro­mo­tions in­clud­ing dis­counts of up to 80 per­cent on se­lected prod­ucts.

For ex­am­ple, brick and mor­tar storest­weaked trad­ing hours in an­tic­i­pa­tion of the de­mand.

Th­ese in­cluded se­lected Game out­lets which opened their doors at mid­night.

But some re­tail web­sites were hit by glitches. Takealot, TFG Markham, Fabi­ani, @ Home and Sportscene crashed early in the morn­ing with the surge in traf­fic.

There were, how­ever, warn­ings for shop­pers to be vig­i­lant from the Na­tional Black Con­sumer Coun­cil.

On Fri­day it cau­tioned shop­pers to be cau­tious and re­mem­ber that this was in ef­fect “emo­tional black­mail by re­tail­ers”.

“This is a time when they make the most profit from you be­cause they drive you into a frenzy to buy all the non­sense that you don’t need.

“Re­mem­ber spe­cials are al­ways there; you must just look for them.

“The biggest trick re­tail­ers use is to force you to buy in bulk for a very small dis­count,” the body said

Only time will tell whether con­sumers have heeded this ad­vice.

Black Fri­day at Check­ers re­tail in South Gate mall South of Joburg.

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