Shoppers keep humour despite crush
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.