Black Friday History and Growth in South Africa

black friday

Love it or hate it, Black Friday has become a big part of South Africa’s shopping calendar. We currently have the fastest growing Black Friday sales in the world.


Black Friday history

Black Friday falls on the Friday after Thanksgiving, which is always held on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States.


It’s thought that the term “Black Friday” was first used in the early 1960s in Philadelphia, to describe overcrowding at the shops just after Thanksgiving.


Later, the term was coined to refer to US sales on the day after Thanksgiving. This popular shopping day gave businesses a chance to move “out of the red” and “into the black” – in other words, to turn a profit.


By the mid-2000s, Black Friday had already developed into a national craze in America. Many other countries starting following suit, with their own Black Friday sales.


It took another two decades to start gathering real momentum in South Africa.


The growth of Black Friday in South Africa

Black Friday hasn’t been observed in South Africa for long but the growth in its popularity is staggering.


Black Friday sales in SA grew by an incredible 9900% from 2012 to 2017.


Familiarity with the concept and positive sentiment towards Black Friday have also grown.


Mentions on Twitter were overwhelmingly positive in 2018 and the reach of hashtags related to Black Friday skyrocketed in the period just before Thanksgiving.


Black Friday statistics in SA

The total Black Friday spend in South Africa jumped over 15% from 2017 to 2018. That amounted to an increase of nearly R400 million in consumer spending.


Black Friday predictions for 2019

Black Friday in 2019 falls on 29 November, which is well after payday for most South Africans.


This could see sales in 2019 increasing even more than in 2018. (Black Friday in 2018 was two days before payday).


Cyber Monday, which falls on the Monday after Black Friday, has also seen significant growth over the last couple of years.


This year it will be on 2 December. Because it breaks into December month, consumers may view it as an opportunity to buy discounted electronics as Christmas gifts.


To capitalise on the increased spending on Black Friday, promotional periods are also starting to extend over the whole week in November and even further.


This year, some South Africa retailers will be observing “Black November”, rather than just Black Friday.


Black Friday 2018 in South Africa

Year on year growth in 2018 reflects just how quickly Black Friday is growing in South Africa. Consider these Black Friday statistics:

  • total spend on Black Friday grew from R2.5 billion in 2017 to R2.9 billion in 2018
  • December sales dropped in 2018 while November sales increased from 8.9% to 9.5% of annual sales on average
  • the percentage of South Africans participating in Black Friday grew from 54.6% in 2017 to 66.5% in 2018
  • a survey showed that the average shopper was prepared to spend up to R1654 on a Black Friday trolley in 2018.

Black Friday 2017 in South Africa

Some of the stats from 2017 were notable too:

  • the average online discount reached 61%, which is higher than the 2017 global average of 55%
  • the top three brands bought on Black Friday in 2017 were Samsung, Apple and Hisense
  • the top five products were cell phones, TVs, smartwatches, laptops and multimedia players
  • when compared to regular spending on an average Friday, Black Friday 2017 showed sales increase by 2571%.

Black Friday storage options for inventory

With the massive popularity of Black Friday in South Africa, many retail businesses order extra stock – necessary for meeting demand for their Black Friday specials.


Both small businesses and individuals may also find they need extra space to store supplies, equipment or items they buy in bulk over the Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend.


At XtraSpace, we offer clean, secure self-storage units that are ideal for storing 2019 Black Friday stock and both personal and business items. Contact us for more information or browse to find a branch near you.

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