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This is why most malls were empty on Black Friday

Queues outside Markham and G-Star Raw at Sammy Marks on Black Friday. Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA)

Queues outside Markham and G-Star Raw at Sammy Marks on Black Friday. Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Nov 27, 2021

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Durban - Usually, IOL is inundated with videos and photographs of shoppers dashing around in the hopes of landing "that great Black Friday deal" but this year, dololo.

Instead of the usual bustling mall images, shoppers were seen "acting pretty normal" while many said they were able to pop in and out of a mall without much hassle.

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This year, shoppers opted to shop from the comfort of their homes and also took advantage of Black November – month-long sales offered at most retailers.

According payment platform, Ozow, over the last year consumers have adapted, using digital payment channels such as tap-to-pay, eCommerce and digital wallets to avoid any contact during the payment process.

"The Covid-19 pandemic caused an explosion in eCommerce. A lockdown-fuelled online shopping boom lifted South Africa’s e-commerce sales by 66% last year to more than R30 billion, from reaching R14.1 billion in 2018. In fact, mobile payments and digital wallets were two of the most popular payment types, eclipsing cash transactions globally in 2020," Ozow said.

Many consumers also opted to give this year's Black Friday a miss following on from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, July riots and a weaker economy.

"Based on Ozow’s transactional data, consumers are spending 30% less on the average value of each transaction in November in comparison to the same period in 2020," Ozow data showed.

Debt Rescue CEO, Neil Roets said consumers do not have the financial means to take part in these special offerings, because of the impact of increased living expenses and possible reduced salaries or job losses due to the effects of the pandemic on their finances.

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Covid-19

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