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Black Friday Success Despite Economic Strain

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South Africa’s headline inflation rate increased by 0.5ppt to 5.9% in October and is underpinned by the rising fuel and food inflation. The core inflation eased to 4.4% from 4.5%, although this was also more than what was expected. This is according to HSBC’s research. Food inflation rose to 8.8%, from a previous 8%.

Despite the rise in inflation, black Friday shoppers still made significantly enthusiastic transactions over the weekend. According to data from Payfast, one of South Africa’s major online payment gateway, a record-high Black Friday payment was recorded, with one individual spending as much as R627 000 in one transaction.

Data showed an average basket of R1,364, slightly lower than 2022’s R1,689. Consumers favored convenience food, family clothing, and discount stores.

“Experienced Black Friday enthusiasts now approach the day with a meticulously crafted strategy, pre-selecting desired products and leveraging price reductions weeks before the retail event kicks off. With access to platforms that monitor item products over time, shoppers can gain valuable insights into price fluctuations throughout the year, and gauge whether their wish-listed products really are at a good price. It’s no longer just about shopping – it’s a strategic approach,” says Payfast Managing Director, Brendon Williamson.
Furthermore, Williamson expressed that as the cost of living climbs, and inflation remains high, the choices surrounding where to spend money are more specific.
Consumers seem to be prioritizing purchases on essential items such as appliances and electronics.
Superbalist and other retailers run Black Friday specials throughout November, some opting for a one-day sale on the actual day.  Despite this, e-commerce spiked on 24 November, as retailers saved their best prices of the month for last.
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