Black Friday becomes Black November - what Makro and others are planning
- Despite the pandemic, Black Friday 2020, which officially falls on 27 November this year, has not been cancelled.
- Instead, most retailers are stretching out their specials over several days, weeks, and even months.
- Most are also pushing online sales over in-store specials.
- Here's what to expect from the leading retailers.
- For more articles, go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.
This year Black Friday falls on 27 November, and despite tough economic times, mainly brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, all indications are that it will once again be a big shopping day in South Africa.
Some retailers have announced that they will be running month-long Black Friday specials, rather than a single-day bonanza. This is largely in an attempt to avoid a super-spreader crush at their stores - and, presumably, to extract as much mileage out of the shopping day as possible by drawing it out over an even longer period.
Although Black Friday isn’t charity, and stores are looking to make money out of the event rather than assist an economically-stressed population, there are still some ways to maximise your Black Friday discounts should you be waiting to purchase some essentials at hopefully reduced prices. And some careful planning - starting with who’s offering what - is a pretty good place to start.
Pick n Pay
Pick n Pay says it’s extending its Black Friday sale from its usual weekend-long event to a full two weeks.
The store will be offering its deals both in-store and online - including some exclusive online-only deals.
Apart from extending the sale period, Pick n Pay will also be limiting the number of customers in their stores at any one time to keep everyone safe - and they promise organised queueing in an attempt to limit frustration and avoid super spreader scenarios.
“Extensive planning with our suppliers will ensure that all stores are well stocked for the new two-week Black Friday. We really want all our customers to be able to get their favourite deals. We will also be opening as many tills as possible for customers to keep queues to an absolute minimum,” says the retailer’s John Bradshaw.
Pick n Pay promises deals on basic food and pantry items, and on bigger luxury purchases like tech products and appliances.
Customers who are concerned about missing out will also be able to sign up for 2020 Black Friday alerts on the Pick n Pay website later this week.
Makro has also opted for an extended Black Friday - theirs will run from 2-29 November.
Central to Makro’s “different kind of shopping experience” this year is their concern around coronavirus and the typical Black Friday pandemonium seen in previous years. To avoid this they’re making promises of ample sanitiser and socially distant queues for those who want to take advantage of their “massive deals” in person - but the store will also be pushing its online sales with “equally enticing deals”.
Makro says that they will run up to 50 specials that expire each week, will cap delivery fees at R90, and offer same-day delivery on liquor and grocery items.
Game will also be running a month of Black Friday specials throughout November on a week by week basis - and they assure customers they have taken “specific measures to ensure it is able to provide a superior customer experience this year”. These include expanding their partnership with Uber Eats, increasing staffing levels, and offering a "1 Cent Price Surprise” on all Black Friday purchases.
Like its Massmart companion Makro, Game is capping delivery fees for online orders at R90 - with the exception of larger items that have an additional R70 shipping fee - and they are aiming to fulfil orders within two weeks.
Historically Game has worked hard to drive Black Friday hype by opening stores at midnight on Black Friday, however in the interests of safety they have decided against this for 2020, and have more traditional operating hours in place.
“As a responsible retailer, we do not want to encourage our shoppers to flock to stores at midnight. Having the deals run weekly means more South Africans will be able to access our unbeatable deals in a way that is both safe and convenient,” says Andrew Stein, Vice President of Game.
Mr Price is also doing things slightly differently this year. The group’s Mr Price Home is running its Black Friday specials across its website, app, and in stores over the course of three days - from the 26 to 28 November.
They’re also already touting Cyber Monday deals, which will take place on their website and app between 30 November and 1 December.
Mr Price says that you may have to wait for your orders made during this time. According to their website, “Due to the high volume of orders received over the Black Friday period, you may experience a delay in the delivery of your order. Please bear with us during this time as we work around the clock to make sure that you can get your furniture or homeware order as quickly as possible.”
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