Takealot SA chief executive Kim Reid. Image: Supplied.
JOHANNESBURG - This year's Black Friday is set to be bigger than before and Takealot.com, the online retailer that brought the global shopping phenomenon to South Africa five years ago, is planning its Blue Dot Sale, a bigger than ever series of sales.

According to Takealot.com, since it brought the phenomenon to South Africa in 2012, the event has been growing exponentially year-on-year and Takelot's own year-on-year figures have risen from R1 million in 2012 to R56m last year and the firm expects this year's sales to be between R80m and R120m.

Takealot SA chief executive Kim Reid, told Business Report this week said that the Takealot brand is basically three businesses in one, the general merchandise Takealot. com, the fashion and apparel business Superbalist.com and Mr D Food, the food delivery business.

He said looking at e-commerce in general, the history of Takealot, is that it has grown "pretty quickly" overtime and the compacted annual growth over the last four years, Takealot has been around 109 percent, Superbalist has grown faster than that and Mr D Food is a new business which the group replatformed about a year ago.

"Our thesis on online retail in general has always come from the fact that if you look at online penetration in developed markets like the UK and the US, the UK is around about 13 percent penetrated as far as online retail is concerned, the US is slightly lower than that, anything between 11 and 12 percent but places like China are sitting at 17 percent already. So already when you look at the world, the world is going into online retail and retail is moving online faster and faster and South Africa has been a little behind the curve but we believe that it is happening and happening quickly."

Reid said the Takealot business turned over around about R2.3 billion to R2.4bn last year and believes that the growth will continue to grow.

He said in the last two months of September and last month the business has grown in excess of 70 percent year-on-year and looking through this month, is also expecting a similar growth rate.

"Now that all builds into Black Friday, Black Friday was a concept we pioneered in South Africa in 2012, launched as a marketing activity, there are some other retailers who claim they started it but those retailers only came in around 2014. So we started that event really as a marketing opportunity to bring an international concept to South Africa because we thought it was something fun and exciting and it has kind of built over the last years being the biggest it was last year where many of the big brick and mortar retailers also got involved. So if you look at the growth of Black Friday over the last two years. As an example, in 2015 we did about R17.8m, last year we did R56m and this year we expecting it to be anything between R80m to R130m, so it is a big event on our calendar."

Reid added that the business grows during the year and culminates in November and December and that online traditionally has a bumper season in the last three months of the year and Takealot is no different.

"So we are looking forward to quite a nice season, we've had a good start to it, October been strong, November in the start has been strong as well and we are going to be running what we call the Blue Dot Sale from 1 minute past 12 on Friday morning and that will run right through the week until Wednesday," said Reid.

This year, Takealot will offer shoppers a "bigger than ever"series of sales where shoppers can look forward to over 15 000 dramatically discounted deals, with the retailer cutting prices by up to 60 percent overall and on selected products by as much as 80 percent in its iconic Blu Dot Sale.

Viresh Harduth, vice president for new customer acquisition at Sage Africa & Middle East, said the retail industry is gearing up for the busiest time of the year, with Black Friday and Cyber Monday fast approaching and this year, November 24, kicks off the holiday season shopping frenzy, as consumers hunt for bargains on Christmas gifts and stock up on holiday essentials and consumables for the year ahead.

"Traditionally a retail holiday, Black Friday is quickly spreading to other industries. It's an opportunity for Fintech companies to attract more customers, who want to buy on credit, and for services businesses to bundle their offerings or sell them at reduced rates to grow their customer base."