I thought it would be a good idea to go and have a look at a South African mall on Thursday 23rd November 2017, the day before the official “Black Friday”. (Tygervalley mall Capetown).
Just for clarification this event was born in the United States and if you look into the history of why it started you will find numerous reasons, most of them made up stories or simply popular myths. For the purpose of this article let us just accept “Black Friday” is a 20th century consumer culture which takes place the day after Thanksgiving in the US where shoppers descend on stores all over the country to take advantage of the seasons biggest holiday bargains. The most shopped items are electronics and popular toys as many of these items are drastically discounted. However prices are slashed on everything from home furnishings to apparel. In the US many retailers use this shopping phenomenon to clear merchandise and turn inventory into cash, making little or no profit on the day.
Over recent years the “Black Friday” craze has reached most of the retailers on our shores and its attraction is gaining ground with each passing year. Unfortunately not all of our local stores have adopted the true principle of the event and many have just jumped on the band wagon offering our consumers no more of a bargain than you would find in a normal year end sale or discount promotion.
Let us look at a few of the offers our stores have when you visit the day prior to the BIG event……
First up is Jet stores with this window….
The poster shouts “amazing Black Friday deals”, but skirts at R99, is that such a fantastic deal, what was the original price, or is this simply a buy in and not a genuine bargain.
Next a visit to Edgars and to my surprise I really like the offer, which is 30% off everything in the store except cosmetics and cell phones. Now that is very customer friendly (for a change Edgars) resulting in the customer being able to buy what ever product she likes and still get a discount. Well done at last Edgar’s. The offer also starts a day early on the Thursday. Oh wait a minute, in small print the offer is only for Edgars Thank U card holders… Well that’s me ruled out and how many more customers cannot buy. Thought this was too good to be true, Edgars always have a underhanded way to create hope, but let you down at the point of sale…………………….So disappointing.
Levi has “Buy 1 get 1 free promotion on all bottoms”. Really just a way of offering 50% on bottoms but Levi gets to clear two items and not just one. Maybe this offer is nothing to do with Black Friday as it runs for 14 days.
Sorry Body Shop, your 20% off all gift sets for Black Friday which is on offer for four days is not anything special. I will not be at your front door at 7:30 am on Friday morning to snap up this great deal.
Another fail is Lindt chocolate stand alone stores, buy two items and get 20% off. Big deal, and again over four days.
This jewellery shop “Time” in my opinion had more of a genuine black friday offer, 25% off all watches and only available on Friday, not over an extended period. All brands including Guess etc, not just on old stock or slow sellers.
Galaxy jewellery had 20% off all product, but again over three days so no massive discount for one day only.
Truworths only doing the same old boring offer they run at most events during the year, “up to 50% off selected items” Certainly won’t have crowds gathered at thier doors on Friday morning!
What are you doing Foschini?. Customer needs to purchase 4 items to get the cheapest item free. Let’s look at the R99 top offer. I need to buy 4 at R99 which is R396 and then I get one R99 free, so really all the customer is getting is a simple 25% discount but I need to purchase 4 items when I really only want one, or two, or three. Great for Foschini, they are moving 4 units and only giving away 25%. Not so good for the customer who is forced to buy four garments to participate in this not a Black Friday coup that is not a coup discount.
Queenpark, you are really misleading your customers. A massive window poster and a hanging message “Up to 70% off ” banner. Sounds fantastic maybe this is a genuine Black Friday offer USA style. I spend 20 minutes with the sales associate going through all the sale items on offer only to find two mens shirts and two pairs of men’s pants in the whole store which were marked down by 70%. Really not good enough!
Lastly Bata shoes, with again a difficult offer forcing the customer to take three pairs of shoes and only pay for two. Definately not in the spirit of a genuine Black Friday offer.
In summary, we really don’t have a pure Black Friday event in South Africa with stores offering slashed discounts on genuine product to pull the crowds and generate sales from other merchandise in the ranges. We essentially have plenty of noise but old boring discount offers disguised in a Black Friday mask. Maybe more genuine offers will be launched on the actual day tomorrow. I might go and see and I will let you know….
enjoy your shopping.