South Africans expected to spend billions during Black Friday 2023

 ·30 Oct 2023

South Africans are expected to spend more on Black Friday 2023 than they did in 2022 – but a muted economy is still keeping projections lower than the record R42 billion spent in 2021.

Local shoppers are expected to create an additional retail turnover of R26.6 billion for South African retailers during Black Friday 2023.

This is according to The Bureau of Market Research (BMR), which conducted research on the event on behalf of Capital Connect – a South African retailer finance provider.

According to the BMR report, this year’s event is expected to generate an additional R7.6 billion in sales compared with the R19 billion in 2022, albeit still behind the additional R42 billion in retail turnover generated in the same period in 2021.

This is mainly due to two years of weak economic growth in South Africa, while sales in 2021 were lifted by more than a year of pent-up demand after the Covid-19 lockdowns.

Despite this, the expected growth in 2023 is a result of cash-strapped South Africans holding back on purchases throughout the year in anticipation of saving money during Black Friday 2023.

According to data analytics firm GfK, Black Friday 2023 arrives at a time of low consumer confidence and spending – therefore, data shows 57% of South African consumers are postponing purchases until the product is on sale or there is a special offer, which bodes well for Black Friday.

Notably, the BMR report anticipates that – although most of them will be temporary or seasonal – Black Friday will create some 150,000 job opportunities across the South African economy.

The report also highlighted that some retail subsectors are positioned to benefit more than others this year:

  • General dealers: R9.3 billion gain
  • Food, beverages and tobacco: no significant gains
  • Pharmaceutical and medical goods: no significant gains
  • Textiles, clothing and footwear: R15 billion gain
  • Household furniture, appliances and equipment: R1.6 billion gain; and
  • Hardware, paint and glass: R707 million gain.

Interestingly, the data showed that luxuries are off the menu as consumers stock up on essentials.

Black Friday has traditionally been an occasion for consumers to spoil themselves by splashing out on confectionaries, consumer electronics and white goods, according to the research.

But continuing the post-pandemic trend, the research anticipates that cash-strapped consumers will be seeking bargains on essentials such as food staples, household products, clothing, and hardware for urgent home repairs and maintenance.

Read: Early warnings for Black Friday 2023

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