A lack of cash will have a bearing on this year’s annual Black Friday retail day on November 23. File image IOL.
LOW consumer confidence in the face of soaring fuel prices, weak wage growth and a weaker rand-dollar exchange rate will have a bearing on this year’s annual Black Friday retail day on November 23, market research institute GfK (Growth from Knowledge) said yesterday.

South Africa, like some other countries, has adopted “Black Friday”, the informal name for the day following Thanksgiving in the US, the fourth Thursday of November, which is regarded as the beginning of the country’s Christmas shopping season.

GfK South Africa's commercial head for market insights, Kali Moahloli, said retailers are hoping for a repeat of last year’s success, which was the strongest Black Friday to date for consumer electronics sales in the country.

GfK point-of-sale data shows that panel television unit sales climbed by 47% and smartphone unit sales increased by 63% during the week of Black Friday last year, compared to the same week in 2016. “(But) with a soaring petrol price, poor GDP and wage growth, and a weaker rand-dollar exchange rate, consumer confidence is low in South Africa,” Moahloli said.

“With consumers under strain, manufacturers and retailers will need to think carefully about how to capture a share of their shrinking disposable income. It seems likely that consumers will be hunting for bargains.”

Moahloli said the result could be a spike in Black Friday sales, but at the expense of sales growth in December.

GfK predicted that, despite the weak economic backdrop, there would be good growth in Black Friday retail sales, with categories such as panel TVs and smartphones likely again to be the star performers.

“What is clear is that Black Friday is now a massive day on the South African retail calendar. It has grown into a week-long frenzy of specials and promotions,” GfK added. African News Agency (ANA)