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 decade and a half 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 all that long but the growth in its popularity is staggering.
Black Friday sales in SA grew by an incredible 9900% from 2012 to 2017. When compared to regular spending on an average Friday, Black Friday 2017 showed sales increase by 2571%!
Notwithstanding a hiccup due to the pandemic (especially in 2020), it has continued to grow in popularity since then.
Positive sentiment towards Black Friday has also grown. What was once viewed as a purely American phenomenon is now a highly anticipated, annual event in South Africa.
Cyber Monday, which falls on the Monday after Black Friday, has also seen significant growth.
Black Friday statistics in SA
The total Black Friday spend in South Africa jumped over 15% from 2017 to 2019. That amounted to an increase of nearly R400 million in consumer spending.
The five top-selling products were cell phones, TVs, smartwatches, laptops and multimedia players.
According to a GeoPoll survey, a full 76% of South Africans reported participating in Black Friday shopping in 2019 – up from 64% of respondents the year before. 2019 also saw a number of SA retailers promoting not just Black Friday, but a week or even a full month of “Black November” specials.
In 2020, the pandemic intervened in all aspects of our lives and businesses, and Black Friday spending was very subdued.
2021 Black Friday results already showed signs of recovery. Despite a lockdown still being in effect, FNB reported that its cardholders spent a whopping R2.5 billion on the day, with 25% more transactions than in 2020.
Black Friday predictions for 2022
Black Friday in 2022 falls on 25 November, just in time for payday in South Africa.
We’ve largely emerged from the pandemic. However, South Africans are feeling the pinch financially. Inflation is high and households are having to cope with increased food, petrol and energy costs.
This could mean that shoppers are actually more motivated than ever to take advantage of Black Friday deals. It’s likely they’ll be looking to stock up on groceries and basic consumable goods at discounted prices.
Forecasts about spending on luxury items are less certain. Money is generally tight. However, shoppers have endured a difficult few years (including a pandemic). They may be feeling ready for some moderate splurges.
With the day falling exactly one month before Christmas, consumers will also likely take the opportunity to buy discounted electronics as Christmas gifts.
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 Black Friday stock and both personal and business items. Contact us for more information or browse to find a branch near you.