Black Friday sales are forecast to surpass the levels seen last year - BankservAfrica
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THIS YEAR’S Black Friday sales are predicted to outdo the levels seen last year in the same period, according to insights gleaned from BankservAfrica’s recent Point-of-Sale (POS) and ATM data.
This payments partner and Financial Markets Infrastructure to the financial services industry, however, said the jury was out on whether sales would exceed levels seen prior to the lockdown in 2019.
To boost sales last year, major retailers extended Black Friday specials over the entire month of November.
But, the economic impact of Covid-19 and lower consumer confidence, together with the stronger preference for digital shopping, contributed to sales being different to previous years.
BankservAfrica chief business officer Martin Grunewald said the spend in November last year was R54.8 billion in real terms, compared to the R60.5bn in November 2019, according to its POS and ATM data.
With the economic “bounce“that has already taken place after the hard-hitting Covid-19 months, as well as the recovery following the unrest in July, BankservAfrica’s data showed that consumer spending increased by 12.3 percent between July and October this year.
Chief economist at Economists. co.za Mike Schüssler said the average consumer transaction value was down to a nominalised value of R422 from R457 in October last year.
“With all-time high petrol prices and salaries falling below the inflation rate, South African consumers remain under pressure,” Schüssler said.
However, with the economy’s better performance compared to last year, they expected November’s card sales and ATM withdrawals to surpass the previous year’s Black Friday as specials once again run throughout the entire month of November as well as on Black Friday. It was also feared that the current global supply chain crisis could disrupt the stock of high-value goods, such as mobile phones and cars. Another negative impact could be the current load shedding.
On the upside, the extra payments from the recent municipal elections could drive up spending. The pent-up demand from consumers holding back on credit purchases may also drive up borrowing for sales. Black Friday sales would also depend on how consumers perceive the value on offer.
“Despite the stronger sales predicted, it is unlikely that this year’s Black Friday will reach 2019 levels,” Schüssler said.
BankservAfrica will be releasing its annual data for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Unlike previous years, they will be measuring the actual sales only for this year.
Last week, FNB Merchant Services chief executive Thokozani Dlamini said that online shopping had become a popular way for consumers and businesses to maximise shopping sprees such as Black Friday.
The bank said while online shopping provided opportunities for retail merchants to boost sales and profits, it also required enhanced measures to minimise the risk of fraud.
Whether a business was large or small, it needed to have measures to detect and prevent fraud for point of sale (card present) and online shopping (card not present) payments.
Dlamini said those retailers that had specials during Black Friday were likely to process more transactions than usual.
“Unfortunately, the risk of in-store and online shopping fraud is also enhanced.”
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