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Black Friday bumps up shopping mall foot count

Black Friday 2017 saw shoppers lining up in and outside stores to ensure they did not miss out on limited deals. Some retailers opened their doors at midnight while others extended trading by a few hours. Customers took full advantage of the extended trading hours, leaving some shopping malls overwhelmed with the influx of bargain hunters.

Stats 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 shopping occasion; shopping centres introduced marketing initiatives to guide customers on where to obtain deals within their centres as well as offering free parking on Black Friday.

Menlyn Park distributed 10,000 branded shopping bags which contained tenant Black Friday offers and a bottle of water to their customers, and ran two competitions on their social media platforms which saw participants walk away with R1,000 Menlyn Park Shopping Centre vouchers. The centre also offered customers free parking on the day. Most centres received increased numbers, however, super regionals experienced the majority of the shoppers, with a select number of small regionals enjoying similar support from shoppers.

Mall of the North, a regional shopping centre located in Polokwane, recorded a foot count increase of 26% year on year on Black Friday, according to general manager Sumari de Ridder. The centre, which is also anchored by Game, had advertised the promotion on various platforms including local and national radio stations. Meanwhile, Musgrave Centre, a small regional shopping centre that caters for LSM 8-10+ located in Durban recorded 23% increase in foot count year on year. East Rand Mall, located in the eastern suburbs of Johannesburg, had a 37% foot count increase on Black Friday year on year.

This year’s promotion boasted the highest retail participation to date. Toys R Us head of real estate, Brad Jacklin reported that this year’s Black Friday was their best ever. Top Performing Toys R Us/Babies R Us stores included Gateway Theatre of Shopping, The Pavillion, Canal Walk, Boksburg and Fourways Crossing.

Westgate Shopping Centre conducted an onsite Black Friday customer survey with a sample of over 250 shoppers which reported 81% of customers would be supporting the centre's Black Friday promotions in 2018.

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