LEPHALALE — Black Friday began in the USA in 1932 and traditionally starts the day after Thanksgiving. It marks the beginning of the Christmas gift shopping season.
Why the term Black Friday? It is the day when retailers finally begin to turn a profit for the year. In accounting terms, operating at a loss (losing money) is called being “in the red” because accountants traditionally used red ink to show negative amounts or losses.
The American concept has taken South Africa by storm with more and more retailers cashing in on the concept. And it is believed that this day in 2016 was more popular than in previous years due to increased social media advertising and users.
Recent stats released by a marketing agency, 25AM, suggests that the social media conversation around this event has almost tripled in comparison to the same period last year.
Additionally many new brands have joined this annual shopping extravaganza.
As to whether Black Friday would have an impact on the economy, it is still unsure.
Economist Azar Jammine believes that people are under a lot of financial pressure and flocked to the stores to buy items on discount and he also believes that the majority of the products bought are for the festive season.
Lephalale Mall’s Marketing Manager, Janette Kruger, says that they have not seen the Mall this busy since the opening of the first and second phases in 2012 and 2014 respectively. Although there was a major influx of feet and vehicles to the centre, the atmosphere was generally peaceful and crime incidents were at an all-time low.
Lephalale Mall’s retailers reported making anything from double to quadruple their normal sales on Black Friday and they are generally very pleased with their turnovers achieved.