In the 1950s the term ‘Black Friday’ was initially used to describe the chaos that ensued on the day after Thanksgiving when hordes of suburban shoppers flooded into the city of Philadelphia before a big army-navy football game held on that Saturday every year. That Friday soon became a day of huge retail sales and the term stuck.
While it originated in the United States, Black Friday is now increasingly observed in many parts of the world. The one-day sale bonanza has expanded into a four-day event, with small business Saturday/ Sunday and Cyber Monday coming into play.
While the concept of Black Friday only gained momentum in South Africa around 2017, its popularity is now staggering. With many retailers promoting Black November as a month full of specials, for 2020.
This year Covid-19 poses a game change for regular Black Friday traditions. As store employees and managers might find implementing social distancing rules more difficult. But given the rise in e-commerce during this year, many consumers may opt for online purchasing instead of visiting crowded stores.
The current pandemic has also led to a revaluation of what is essential and luxury items on the part of the consumer. People have become more conscious and focused on value for money than ever before. So Black Friday sales may be less than previous years.
“Black Friday this year will see demand from two types of consumers. The reset spender, looking for genuine bargains after months of holding back and the revenue spender, looking for deals that let them trade up to premium products” says Nicolet Pienaar, head of market insights at GfK South Africa.