BLACK FRIDAY LIVE :It looks like Black Friday 2019 was bigger in South African than anticipated
After midnight shopping frenzies in a couple of local malls, Black Friday is running at full speed, with most retailers offering goods on sale.
Smart speakers don't seem to have been a hot item on Black Friday 2019 – despite being discounted to the point where the merely curious could give them a go.
With less well under three hours to go for Black Friday proper, OneDayOnly was still advertising that it had 100 mini Google Home Smart Assistant devices for sale at R600. The Geewiz site was also still flagging as available its offer for that Google speaker at R566 each.
It's not just Google either. The Amazon Echo Dot, featuring its Alexa voice assistant, was still available for R890 at Audico, and the Smart Speakers site said it had those in stock at R899.
Pick n Pay says the most sought-after items on Black Friday were non-perishables such as long-life milk, sugar, coffee, nappies, washing powder, and toilet paper, but that it also sold a lot of cheese and chicken.
The retailer also saw televisions sell briskly, and believe many of its customers were buying early Christmas gifts, or were putting down money they had been saving up fo big-ticket items.
Numbers are just starting to trickle in – and they suggest that Black Friday 2019 was a lot bigger than had been expected. With the economy in trouble and consumers under pressure, the more optimistic forecasts we saw talked about volume and value increases of about a quarter over 2018.
15:45 - WATCH: Black Friday madness hits Mzansi
The News24 video team has captured scenes of shopping frenzies across the country:
15:21 - Superbalist on track for record Black Friday
By 07:00, it had received nearly 20,000 orders with more still rolling in. At midnight, there were 16,000 shoppers on-site. By 12:30am, this rose to 21,000.
This year’s most wish-listed item was Converse sneakers.
So far this year, Superbalist was the most in-demand brand, while the best-selling products were a Sixth Floor Antique printed rug, Pop Candy jeans & top set and Pop Candy sneakers.
15:17 - OneDayOnly's 100%-off deals
The online retailer OneDayOnly is giving away R1 million in "100%-off" deals, which will include TVs and washing machines. The deals are dropped on its site during the day, and customers will have to be on the site and act fast to secure the giveaways.
The first 100% off deal was in-ear headphones. 100 units were "purchased" in just under 2 minutes, says OneDayOnly.
If you are still in the market for lunch, there are some good Black Friday fast food discounts to look out for.
That KFC offer of a 9-piece bucket for R99 today (about a 19% discount, and good for sharing) runs all day.
Burger King is selling its BK Crunch chicken burger for R20 until midnight.
And Pizza Hut has a 50% off deal, on purchases of R200 or more, when you check out online using the code “Black Friday”.
You can also get a free one-litre no-sugar Coke if you spend more than R150 on an order via the Debonairs Pizza app.
Our colleagues at News24 spoke to some buyers about the stuff in their trolleys – and how they found the money to pay for it.
Shops and malls across the country are still busier than usual, but most of the initial Black Friday rush is over. Some malls predict another spike in foot traffic over an extended lunchtime, until 2PM, and then another spike from 3:30PM through to about 6PM.
Basically, if you have the option and you aren't chasing limited-stock deals, head to the mall in the early afternoon, and either get out quick or settle in to wait out the crowds.
But at least one value-mall area is seeing serious traffic congestion that shows no sign of improving, judging by the reports from our colleagues at EWN.
We've compared some of the best South Africa Black Friday data deals from the major network operators, and depending on your usage there may be one that is worth your money.
For 24-month contracts you can get a gig of data for R7.45 from Cell C, a nearly identical (but slightly less sweet) R7.45 from Vodacom, R6.67 from Telkom (in a bigger bundle), and R16.67 from MTN – which throws in all-you-can-eat voice calls. But things are slightly complicated by the free hardware on some of those deals, and the different definitions of what constitutes night-time.
Our video team caught staff at Game warming up for Black Friday - and they've got some moves.
8:51 Branded fashion
As with most of the Black Friday products we scrutinised, trusting retailers' claims about how much their branded products have been discounted is folly.
And when you do find an actual bargain, chances are that it will only be available in an absurd size.
In short: We struggled to find many branded fashion items that are worth getting excited about, although these deals looked quite sweet compared to prices at other retailers:
Adidas Samba sneakers for R699 at Zando
Uber and Makro are offering R50 off two trips, using the promo code MakroBlack5Day in the Uber app. There is a limited number of those vouchers available, but our testing suggests they are still available. (Our testing also suggests the discount may not technically be limited to trips to and from Makro stores, even though that is the idea.)
Our sister site Traveller24 has put together a list of the many, many holiday deals and discounts on offer for Black Friday. You can find the details on foreign holidays and tours here.
We’re seeing the usual crop of “in-store only” “Black Friday only” specials that aren’t really either of those things – and it is worth checking online if your preferred bricks-and-mortar store runs out of stock, or if delivery would make your life easier.One example: today DIY chain Builders will see you a 320mm 1200W Ryobi lawnmower for R998. That’s not quite the R500 saving it claims (more like R400), but still not a bad deal. But you can get the same thing online from 4Home for R24 more with a dispatch time of up to 10 days – or Loot will ship in 24 hours for R1 extra.
Early reports from across the country suggests that retailers are doing well in managing crowds and getting people through the tills – even though shopping is a little crazy in some stores.
But after a few near-disasters last year, queue management appears to be holding, generally.
Not that you'll want to leave the house for normal grocery shopping just yet – wait a couple of hours if you want anything so fancy as a trolley to hold your shopping.
The Loot store still seems to have deep supplies of stock for some not-quite must-have items that make for delightful browsing even if you almost certainly don't need them. There are the two-packs of giant latex balloons, for instance, in red and in blue, which at R66 per balloon (R132 for the pack) is a pretty good price.
There are also more useful discounts, such as R66 for a 2.9L Pyrex glass roaster, a genuine discount approaching 50% compared to the regular prices elsewhere.
In the middle ground between useful and less so is a large selection of books on what amounts to a fire sale, such as The President's Keepers for R19.
3:51 Orlando Pirates jerseys are on sale at eBucks – but we’re sure it doesn’t mean anything
We’re not sure if it is a reflection of how First National Bank expects Orlando Pirates to do in upcoming games – but its eBucks store has a Black Friday “clearance” sale on Pirates jerseys. You can get either the home jersey or the away kit for R500. That is just under 25% less than you’d pay via the official Pirates shop.
And we don’t know if this means anything, and we probably shouldn’t read anything into it, but eBucks is selling the Kaizer Chiefs home jersey for R700 – while the Mamelodi Sundowns away jersey is R500, like Pirates.
03:47 There are tyre specials for Black Friday – but they weren’t all created equal
Who says tyre dealers can’t offer Black Friday specials? In this case, tyre dealers. Tiger Wheel and Tyre and its sister outfit Tyres & More are advertising Black Friday discounts, such as R750 each for 175/65 Continental ContiEcoContact 3’s.
Thing is, you can find those same tyres for R720 elsewhere, without the “Black Friday” tag.
3:42 - KFC is selling some pretty cheap chicken
KFC is selling a 9-piece bucket for R99 today, which is about a 19% discount over the standard price for that mound of chicken. But it becomes a much better deal if you turn it into a sharing lunch with a couple of friends or colleagues. Normally a piece of KFC will set you back around R15 or so if you’re buying it in the form of Streetwise Three.
Just skip the sides, which are quite expensive on their own, you’ll be saving around a quarter of the price you would normally pay for KFC’s chicken.
03:16 - Some solid Takealot deals still left
A couple of the best deals were either sold out, or stocks were running low, by the early morning hours.
But there were also attractive offers, compared to prices at other retailers, left:
- Weber - Compact Charcoal Kettle Grill - 47cm for R899 - elsewhere it's selling for above R1,000
- Cadac Gas Cylinder - 7kg for R489 - at other retailers, a cylinder was selling for above R700
- Ryobi generator (4-Stroke, 2500W) for R4,299 - elsewhere on sale for R6,000
- Apple AirPods With Charging Case for R1,999, and
- Reebok Jet 200 Treadmill With Bluetooth for R8,499
02:31 - Toys R Us offers sold out quickly
Toys R Us has some substantial offers for Black Friday - but two hours after midnight, some of the best online deals - including a Quadcopter with a camera for R399.90 - were already sold out.
If the kids in your life are into Lego - you're in luck. There are still a number of sets available at attractive prices.
02:17 - DionWired deals
After an initial delay, DionWired released its Black Friday deals.
These are some of its competitor-beating deals on offer:
- Samsung 8kg Top Loader Washing Machine for R7,499, cheaper than at Hifi Corp and Takealot
- Fitbit Inspire HR for sale at R1,399 (cheaper than we could find elsewhere - except for TotalSports).
- MacBook Air 13" 8GB RAM 128GB HDD Core I5 Notebook, for sale at R11,999.00
01:31 In the early morning hours of Friday, shops were doing brisk business in Canal Walk and Fourways Mall.
01:17 - OneDayOnly to release 100%-off deals
Like last year, OneDayOnly is offering 100% off selected products - but you will have to be on the site at exactly the right time. The deals will be released during the day on Friday.In 2018, super-fast shoppers received products like sneakers for free.
Also on offer this year: pre-owned iPhones.
"An Apple Certified Pre-Owned iPhone or CPO unit is a Certified A-grade trade-in unit that has gone through Apple's certified rigorous tests and checks to make sure it matches up to their high standards. The product will appear to be in basically new condition," OneDayOnly says. One of these phones, a 16GB 4S iPhone, costs R999.
Other Black Friday deals from OneDayOnly include:
- A ReebokJet 100 Series Treadmill, which it is offering for R8,499. (We found it elsewhere for almost R12,000.)
- Duck Feather duvets from R349 each.
- An Amazon Kindle for R769.
- A Bosch Serie 2, 60cm Freestanding Dishwasher for R3,599
- It is also selling a Samsung 49'' N5000 Full HD TV for R4,999 (which you can buy for same price from Takealot)
00:43 - HiFi Corp
HiFi Corp says it is offering R100 million in price reductions for Black Friday, with up to 50% off on some of its products. Its offers on fridges stood out:
- HP 15 Core i7- 8550U Notebook - was R14,999.90, now R12,999
- Mellerware Biltong Maker And Cutter – was R849.90, now R499
- Ultra Link Solar String Lights – was R149.90, now R89
After not participating in Black Friday in 2017, Woolworths made a big return last year. This year's sale items have just been released, with the biggest markdown (50%) on Country Road clothing and homewear items.
00:18 - iStore
The South African iStore’s Black Friday deals have been released. You can get a 256GB iPhone Xs Max for just under R20,000, though that is a discount of only 13%. Other discounts are even more meagre in percentage terms, like 7% off the 1TB version of the 11-inch iPad Pro Wi-Fi + Cellular at R25,000.Still, it’s a couple of thousand rand off stuff that is not often discounted until being superseded by new models.
With new prices released by Pick n Pay and Boxer, we have updated our list of best grocery deals. It is war on the price of a 1L box of Ultra Mel – and what we thought a good price on a can of Ricoffy has been handily beaten too.
And we're off! Black Friday has officially started in South Africa!
A lot of dancing at Game stores...
Sofa company Coricraft is offering 25% off all its products on Black Friday.
Shoppers are starting to gather at major malls
Games stores, which traditionally see a flood of people, has increased staff and security at its stores to improve access control. Most of its stores will open at midnight.
Bargain hunters are starting to gather:
And not only in South Africa - in Uganda, crowds are queuing:
Best grocery deals
We've been comparing Black Friday prices and specials to find the best discounts on groceries – especially the kind you can stock up on.
Instant coffee discounts are everywhere, and there are good deals to be had on nappies and toilet paper too.
Weet-bix and long-life milk are also seeing strong price competition.
Best alcohol deals
There is fierce competition among booze merchants in South Africa for Black Friday 2019, with good to great deals on beer, whisky, and champagne in particular.
Makro will also save you R50,000 on a bottle of 50-year-old Glenfiddich Scotch.
Black Friday in South Africa
South Africa was slow to adopt Black Friday, which had its origins in the 1950s in the US (the Philadelphia police started calling it Black Friday because they had to work overtime because so many people went out shopping on the day after Thanksgiving). But it has exploded in recent years, and now is by far the biggest retail event in the country.
Last year, South African retail sales increased by 1,952% compared to an ordinary shopping day, according to a PwC. The global average is an increase of 663% in sales.
Despite a tepid economy, this year’s Black Friday will probably be the biggest ever. For the first time in three years, Black Friday will take place after the 25th, which is traditionally pay day in South Africa. According to a PricewaterhouseCoopers report, consumers plan to spend 36% more than last year. FNB estimates that its clients will spend 16% more than in 2018.
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