To help drive sales in 2020, major retailers extended Black Friday specials to the entire month of November. But, the economic impact of Covid-19 and lower consumer confidence, together with the stronger preference for digital shopping, contributed to sales being different from previous years.
“In November 2020, the spend was R54.8bn in real terms, compared to the R60.5bn in November 2019, according to our POS and ATM data,” says Martin Grunewald, chief business officer at BankservAfrica.
With the economic ‘bounce’ that has already taken place after the hard-hitting Covid-19 months, as well as the recovery following the unrest in July 2021, BankservAfrica’s data shows consumer spending increased by 12.3% between July 2021 – October 2021.
“The average consumer transaction value is down to a nominalised value of R422 from R457 in October 2020. With all-time high petrol prices and salaries falling below the inflation rate, South African consumers remain under pressure,” says Mike Schüssler, chief economist at Economists.co.za.
“Still, with the economy’s better performance compared to 2020, we expect November’s card sales and ATM withdrawals to surpass the previous year’s Black Friday as specials once again run throughout the entire month of November as well as on Black Friday,” adds Schüssler.
The current global supply chain crisis could disrupt the stock of high-value goods, such as mobile phones and cars. Another negative impact could be the current loadshedding. On the upside, the extra payments from the recent municipal elections could drive up spend.
The pent-up demand from consumers holding back on credit purchases may also drive up borrowing for sales.
Black Friday sales will also depend on how consumers perceive the value on offer.
“Despite the stronger sales predicted, it is unlikely that this year’s Black Friday will reach the 2019 levels,” concludes Schüssler.