Wigs, weaves top list in Black Friday shopping frenzy
As budgets shrink and the festive season approaches, Cape Town shoppers sacrificed sleep and even skipped work to get their hands on discounted items.
Black Friday is a retail tradition that began in the US, with shops offering discounts the day after Thanksgiving - but since being introduced, South Africa now tops the global list of countries for the most online searches for deals.
The frenzy was evident in the gridlock traffic that gripped most of Cape Town’s CBD, including extreme congestion on main routes into the city and high traffic volumes at the usual off-peak times of day.
With some shops opening their doors at midnight, such as Game in Canal Walk, crowds of determined shoppers even queued outside to be the first in the door when the sale kicked off, cuing the usual scrum of frantic people squabbling over high ticket items such as televisions.
One hot item for city centre shoppers was wigs and weaves. A salon owner in Strand Street said 1500 shoppers had come into his shop before midday alone. The queue of women waiting for their weaves spilled out onto the street and around the block.
But the sales were more bitter than sweet for some who expressed their disappointment online.
Some savvy online shoppers called out Takealot for allegedly inflating the “original” prices of some items in order to make discounts seem bigger.
Takealot responded, saying: “At times products that are on the Blue Dot Sale were previously discounted in our daily deals or another sale so they were already sold at a lower price.”
Many boycotted altogether, sharing: “Amazing Black Friday deal: Buy NOTHING and save 100%!”
Capitec warned its customers against overspending: “Don’t give in to Black Friday pressure and spend money you don’t have to buy things you don’t need.
“If you think Black Friday was planned for your benefit, think again. It’s intended to get you to spend money. Retailers have not reduced prices to be kind. Rather, it’s a chance to drive sales and increase profit before year-end.”