Black Friday or grey Friday?

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On Friday 27 November not so many bargain hunters rushed to the shops to buy promotional items at low prices.

This year’s Black Friday was, however, a little disappointing for retailers as a majority of them reported that the number of feet was a lot less than that of Black Friday 2019.

The manager of Mall@Mfula, Marcelle Wilsnach, said that they could see the impact that Covid-19 has had on the spending of consumers. In 2019 multiple people bought trolleys full of products on special but, this year people only bought the bare necessities and stuck to a strict budget. Marcelle also believes that many consumers tried to avoid the mall altogether by buying online.

Good cooperation from shoppers by wearing their masks most of the time was experienced. Those who didn’t wear their masks properly were quickly reprimanded by the mall security. Of course, scammers saw this busy day as a golden opportunity to rob innocent people and four individuals were arrested by the Mkhondo SAPS at Mall@Mfula.

Many shops reported that they were not as busy as in 2019.

Mornay Vosloo, the manager of Piet Retief Superspar also stated that business was not bloom-ing like in 2019. He said that last year, Black Friday fell on the same day as pension payout day, which boosted their sales considerably. This year, it was not the case.  No incidents of theft or scamming were reported at Superspar and the customers adhered to the social distancing and mask-wearing rules.

Unfortunately, both Pick n Pay Woodhill and – Church Street were not willing to share their Black Friday experiences with the Excelsior News. Apparently, these inquiries needed to be directed to their head office but, how would the people at their head office know if consumers in eMkhondo followed the rules, or if they were busier than the previous year? Of course, they are aware of the number of sales that were made but, that is not the only information that was asked for by the Excelsior News.

Although the shops were not as busy, the traffic in the town was horrendous. The queue at the Post Office of people collecting their government grants was very long. It stretched around the block and there was absolutely no social distancing.

We would like to thank the managers and staff of the different retailers in eMkhondo for ensuring that their customers acted responsibly and adhered to all of the rules to try and stop the spread of Covid-19.