Black Friday set to bring resurgence in in-store shopping & boost retail sector

Retailers are expected to ring up around R11.3 billion in additional sales over the period of November as consumers splash out on Black Friday deals, with general dealers expected to capture a 55% or R6.2 billion share of the value.

FILE: A man walks past a Black Friday store special at the Greenstone Shopping Centre in Modderfontein. Picture: Abigail Javier/Eyewitness News

CAPE TOWN - The Bureau for Market Research expects this year's Black Friday to deliver a massive boost to the retail industry.

The bureau released research conducted on behalf of Capital Connect, the fintech business funding division of The Connect Group.

It said that retailers are expected to ring up around R11.3 billion in additional sales over the period of November as consumers splash out on Black Friday deals, with general dealers expected to capture a 55% or R6.2 billion share of the value.

Last year's Black Friday was a muted affair, happening under the yoke of a bruising second wave of COVID-19 infections, with retailers pulling in just more than R10 billion in revenue.

Whilst the research doesn't believe this year will exceed the R15 billion or so recorded pre-pandemic in 2019, it is predicting a major improvement on last year.

Capital Connect's Steven Heilbron said that this Black Friday and festive season retail trading period will see a global resurgence in in-store shopping as stores aim to attract lockdown-fatigued consumers with experiential shopping offerings that entertain and educate.

He said that stores that offer the most compelling shopping experiences will be big winners as consumers get out and about while their vaccine immunity is strong and COVID rates are low.

"In South Africa, we are talking about a fourth wave; we do expect that fourth wave to have less of an impact. As retailers and citizens, we all got used to living with COVID."

The Bureau of Market Research's Professor Carel van Aardt said that spending will be driven by the middle-income and more affluent markets buying luxury goods at discounted prices, middle-income markets buying necessities in bulk and consumers in the volume, middle and affluent markets purchasing discounted goods as part of their Christmas shopping.

"Well, about 2.1 million people lost their jobs during 2020, about 73,000 new jobs were created which means that the has been some sort of catch up in job creation."

He said that this would benefit retailers this Black Friday.