We’ve all heard the stories about Black Friday in the US – all the latest goods at crazy low prices – but are South Africans experiencing the biggest day on the shopping calendar in the same way?

Kevin Tucker, founder and CEO of PriceCheck, one of Africa’s most popular comparison and discovery service, says there’s no doubt about it.

The shopping craze was introduced to South Africa a few years ago by a number of intrepid online retailers, and has since grown significantly. It’s been reported that sales on Black Friday tripled from 2015 to 2016 and despite a gloomy economy, this stellar growth is set to continue.

In an attempt to figure out just how big Black Friday will be in South Africa this year, PriceCheck took to the streets of Cape Town to better understand the expectations of consumers. Some predicted discounts of 25% while others are expecting 50% off, but most are hoping that the local retailers will join the ranks of the original US sale and mark merchandise down by a whopping 70% to 80%.

This year, masses of retailers — from grocers like Checkers and Pick ‘n Pay to clothing stores like H&M, Superbalist and Spree, to general online merchandisers like Takealot and Loot — will be offering their stock at super-low prices. Even travel agents have discounted flights and travel packages, so there really is something out there to benefit everyone, and deals from most of these retailers can be found on PriceCheck.
Downsides to the day include the physical queues in-store, and the bunfights that often ensue when products are limited. In the US, serious fights have broken out among customers, with Black Friday fight compilations filling YouTube feeds for days thereafter. Most squabbles over Black Friday bargains tend to be over higher value items such as TVs and game consoles, but last year a grabbing frenzy erupted at Walmart when shoppers fought tooth and nail for towels. Luckily, the worst that can happen when shopping online is that the website crashes.
“This is very exciting for retail – South Africans are more invested in Black Friday than ever before — with savings we all welcome in these tough times,” says Tucker.