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Black Friday draws crowds

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Shopping centres across the country reported many more feet on the day of special sales

South African consumers took to shopping centres around the country to maximise on Black Friday deals offered by retailers representing all categories from toys to electronics.

The retail promotion, now in its third year, saw crowds of customers line up to ensure they did not miss out on the limited deals.

With some retailers opening their doors at midnight and others two hours earlier than standard hours, customers went full steam ahead to grab the best deals at much anticipated reduced prices over the Black Friday sales period – the day after the US’s Thanksgiving. This left some centres overwhelmed with the influx of bargain hunters pushing through their doors.

Sightings from a recent survey of 75 shopping centres conducted by the South African Council of Shopping Centres indicated an increase of 17.8 % of retail participant’s year-on-year.

Retailers were not the only ones to offer specials during the heavy discount promotion as shopping centres introduced marketing initiatives to guide customers where to get deals within their centres as well as offering free parking on the day. Menlyn Park in Pretoria distributed 10000 branded shopping bags which contained tenant Black Friday offers and a bottle of water to customers.

The centre also ran two competitions on social media platforms which saw participants walk away with R1000 Menlyn Park Shopping Centre vouchers. It also offered customers free parking.

Most centres received increased numbers, but super regionals experienced the majority of shoppers, with a select number of small regionals enjoying similar support.

Mall of the North, a regional shopping centre in Polokwane, recorded a foot-count increase of 26% year-on-year on Black Friday, says general ganager Sumari de Ridder. The centre, which is also anchored by a Game store, had advertised the promotion on platforms including local and national radio stations.

Musgrave Centre, a small regional shopping centre catering for LSM 8 to 10+ in Durban, recorded a 23% increase in foot count year-on-year while the East Rand Mall, located in the eastern suburbs of Joburg, had an increase of 37% of foot count on Black Friday year-on-year.

A man carries his Black Friday specials at N1 City in Goodwood. 
Picture: Leon Lestrade/ANA

The retail promotion on November 24 saw a number of retailer participants which included Game, Checkers, new promotion entrant Shoprite, Pick * Pay Hyper Markets, Clicks, Toys R Us, DisChem and Samsung.

Selected Game stores opening at midnight resulted in big crowds outside their stores.

This year’s promotion boasted the highest retail performances to date as customers showcased greater support to retailers.

Toys R Us head of real estate, Brad Jacklin, reported this year’s Black Friday was their best ever. Top-performing Toys R Us/Babies R Us stores included Gateway Theatre of Shopping, The Pavilion, Canal Walk, Boksburg and Fourways Crossing.

Westgate Shopping Centre conducted an on-site Black Friday customer survey, with a sample of more than 250 shoppers, which reported that 81% of customers would support the centre’s Black Friday promotions in 2018.

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