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This year’s black Friday sales kicked off with smaller queues and calmer crowds as many South Africans chose to buy few items, mostly essentials avoiding large shopping because of the soaring prices brought on by the July unrest. In normal times, Black Friday is the busiest shopping day of the year, drawing millions of people eager to get started on their holiday spending.
While the hype might have been there throughout the week, most of Soweto shoppers were not as excited with deals from numerous known shops. Despite good weather across much of the country, malls witnessed sharply lower footfall than usual on what is traditionally the busiest shopping day of the year. At the Dobsonville Mall in Soweto, many of the national top retailers begun door-buster sales days before black Friday.
One of the hundreds of thousands of shoppers jostling for deals at the mall, mentioned that she ended up more than she planned due to high prices. “I did not expect such deals, it’s really expensive but at least I’ve managed to get few things for myself and my family”.
While the lines were not as packed and malls not as chaotic as seen in the retail holiday, sales went up to 50 percent compared to the previous year, when the country was in the middle of the pandemic. Some shoppers noted that by midday, the crowd resembled more of a normal weekday than a typical Black Friday.
Thapelo Magola Soweto Sunrise News