BLACK Friday has become the retail event of the year.     African News Agency (ANA)
BLACK Friday has become the retail event of the year. African News Agency (ANA)

Black Friday shopping splurge lives up to its hype

By Sizwe Dlamini Time of article published Dec 6, 2019

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The biggest spenders on Black Friday were the 24- to 36-year-olds, followed by the 36 to 48 age group, according to a report by Standard Bank.

In a statement it said that these two categories of customers accounted for more than half the spend on Black Friday - a trend that was replicated globally.

The bank’s female customers spent slightly more than the males this year compared with last year.

The lender said this year’s Black Friday sales statistics showed an increase compared with last year.

According to retail tracker Black Friday Global, interest in the phenomenon in South Africa over the past five years had jumped by 9900percent, compared with global growth of 117percent during the same period, as domestic retailers adapted their trading strategies over the years to include a discount push on Black Friday.

While the shopping phenomenon, which traditionally kicks off the holiday shopping season, may have started in the US, its worldwide popularity has soared in recent years.

Black Friday has snowballed into a whirlwind of big-ticket discounts across all categories, making it the most popular time of the year to splurge in South Africa.

Standard Bank’s head of card issuing in South Africa, Ethel Nyembe, said while most consumers were forced to tighten their belts due to the tough economic environment, they still showed spending resilience when they realised value.

The lender said its customers did most of their shopping on Black Friday, while still seeing value in the days before and after November 29, with increased spending evident in this time.

Total card transactions for Black Friday this year increased by 13percent compared with the same period last year, the average value of transactions rose by 12percent.

While there were numerous individuals who took advantage of specials, and swiped their cards for as little as R1, the most expensive card transaction on the day amounted to R650000.

Customers took advantage of their lunch break during their working day, with transactions per second processed by Standard Bank spiking between 1pm and 3pm.

The Saturday following Black Friday also saw a spike to 520 transactions per second managed by Standard Bank.

Following similar patterns to last year, consumers chose to spend their money and take advantage of Black Friday value at food retailers, followed by electronic and other consumable retailers and clothing stores.

FNB also saw a spike in shopping activity on Black Friday.

Between midnight and 2pm on Friday, the total number of transactions processed through its merchant acquiring systems were 7.4million compared with 5.6million last year, the lender said in a statement.

This represents a 40percent increase in transaction volumes compared with the same period last year. Transactions processed peaked at an average of 306 transactions a second.

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