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SA’s obsession with Black Friday: How it all started

Black Friday is a term coined in the United States more than 60 years ago to describe the manic shopping a day after Thanksgiving.

Checkers Hyper's 'Black Friday' sale in Sandton City. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

KEMPTON PARK - With Black Friday mania sweeping through the country, questions are being asked about how South Africa got caught up in the craze.

Black Friday is a term coined in the United States more than 60 years ago to describe the manic shopping a day after Thanksgiving.

But this trend was adopted by South Africa in recent years, so much so, that it saw more growth here than anywhere else in the world.

So how did we get here?

It’s the single biggest shopping day in South Africa and yet it doesn’t even belong to us.

Online retailer Takealot is claiming this one as CEO Kim Reid explains: “So, in 2011, we kind of needed a marketing event and we decided that we would steal from something that was happening elsewhere in the world. If you think about the scale difference from the first day we ran Black Friday which was in 2011, when we had a R1 million turnover, last year we had R196 million.”

So why do South Africans love Black Friday so much?

“Look, it's Christmas and it's the season when people do buy gifts. They get bonuses and those types of things. It’s the season for giving.”

On average, Takealot attracts between 12,000 to 15,000 new users on Black Friday, but it remains to be seen if the current economic climate will have an effect on this.

WATCH: This is how Takealot gears up for Black Friday

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