Photo Jay Caboz.
Coffee beans. Photo Jay Caboz.
  • Black Friday falls on 29 November this year, and it looks like it will feature a lot of competition among retailers again.
  • In 2018 South Africans went shopping for discounted non-perishable items like coffee, detergents and disposable nappies, according to retail research agency Nielsen.
  • Just about nobody wanted vitamins, supplements, and deodorant, despite these being on sale.
  • If things haven't changed in the year since, South African consumers are likely to load their pantries again, while also treating themselves a little. 
  • Go to for more stories. 

If Black Friday 2019, which falls on 29 November this year, is anything like the previous edition, then South Africans will be buying a lot of coffee, detergent, and disposable nappies.

Those were the kind of non-perishable items that were very popular during Black Friday 2018, according to a survey by the international retail research agency Nielsen.

By contrast sales on vitamins, supplements, and deodorant were flops.

Neilson evaluated how the top 20 fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) categories in modern trade, excluding cigarettes, fared during the last Black Friday in terms of the value of sales compared to the average of August and October payday week sales at stores like the Shoprite Group, Pick n Pay, Jetmart, Food Lover's Market, Game, Woolworths, and OK.

Nielsen Retail Measurement Services
Source: Nielsen Retail Measurement Services, Weekly Scanning Defined Universe, Shoprite Group, Pick ‘n Pay Group, Jetmart, Fruit & Veg City, Clicks, Game,Woolworths, OK.

Coffee saw more than 77% value growth on the week of Black Friday, with detergents, disposable nappies, and long-life milk close behind.

According to Kerith Botha, Nielsen South Africa Connect MD, South African consumers were loading up their pantries, and treating themselves a little too. 

Items such as bread, chicken, and sugar did not sell well.

The results show that simply putting something on sale during Black Friday does not necessarily mean it will sell, Botha says – and retailers should be careful about what they try to promote.

Nielsen have found that South African shoppers are "obsessed" with discounts; 75% of those surveyed were more acutely aware of prices of the grocery items they buy and notice changes in price, up from 69% in 2017.

Retailers have increasingly complained recently that consumers are being trained to buy on promotion to such an extent that it is doing damage to shops and producers, with more than two-thirds of promotions not breaking even. 

South Africans will look to spend an average of around R1,735 on Black Friday this year, according to a survery by Black-Friday.Global among 21 thousand respondents from 55 countries.

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