Cash-strapped South Africans are set to spend big on Black Friday this week, with online retailers expected to benefit the most. The day, which originated in the US to encourage consumers to start shopping for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving, has been an important event for retailers in the country for the past three years, mainly out of necessity to drive sales in a lacklustre consumer economy, according to Jason Muscat, senior economic analyst at FNB. "[It] should once again provide a significant boost to retail trade sales, but it's not just Black Friday. We now also have Cyber Monday [November 27], which is a material contributor to sales," he said. In the past three years, November retail sales have jumped on average by 8.4% month on month, growing 10.1% month on month last year, compared to an average of just 3.6% in the three years to November 2011. "This year, sales are expected to be bolstered even further by a lower inflationary environment and the June interest rate ...

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