Black Friday promotional sales are transforming the SA retail sector. What started out as an imported US sales gimmick — Takealot and Checkers both claim they brought it to SA — about four years ago, is now reshaping how South Africans shop. The SA Reserve Bank referred to its effect in its Quarterly Bulletin in June when it showed a “robust increase” in durable and semidurable goods in the fourth quarter of 2017. It said this was as a result of “substantial Black Friday promotions”. Research group Nielsen echoed these findings. It said in its “Black Friday: Heyday or Hype” report that sales in November 2017 were 7.2%, or R1.36bn, higher than the average for the preceding two months. It was no different in 2018, with some retailers reporting record sales for the period. E-commerce retailer Takealot said sales for the day were R196m — a 125% year-on-year growth. This is sharply up from the mere R1m it generated from Black Friday in 2015. The group sold R11.5m in merchandise before 1a...

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