READY, SET, SHOP OR SAVE
There’s many a popular day on the calendar; for lovers it is definitely Valentine’s Day, for patriots, Independence Day, and for the vast majority of Christians, Christmas is a firm favourite, but for shopaholics, retail therapy seekers and bargain hunters, Black Friday is a particularly exciting day, more so for women.
Originating in Philadelphia, America in the 1960s, Black Friday is an annual shopping event that occurs the day after Thanksgiving (a secular holiday traditionally held on the fourth Thursday of November) and kicks of the Christmas shopping season with most shops offering massive price reductions and lengthening trading hours. The craze spread across the world in recent years.
Voice Woman visited the capital’s main mall to find out if the shopping extravaganza still thrills women even in Covid times; will women still be shelling out their monies this year?
Sadie Gabanthate 24, Bobonong – clothing vendor
Black Friday is around the corner, yes, but I’m not in the least bit excited about it. This year has dealt us hustlers a heavy blow owing to the lockdowns and curfews – State of Emergency.
My usual customers have since tightened their belts so I have not made enough money to splurge on Black Friday.
The meager profits I’ve made, I’d rather plough back into my business here at the main mall; as you can see I sell second-hand clothing, organic skincare products.
I used to be a big spender especially during the big discount occasions like black Friday but this season we’re focusing on recovering the lost business.
As a woman, obviously I love shopping but I won’t even be tempted.
Kate John, 29, Tobane – pre-loved clothing vendor
The reason I’m not excited about Black Friday this year is that the only shops that are going to benefit are the big shops not us SMMES who’re out there selling in the street.
In fact, I too could have a Black Friday sale here at my stall but customers always want to negotiate a much bigger discount.
Someone will say, “Look, I don’t have P20, only P15,” and keep begging for more discounts.
My tops go for P50, I could do a 5% markdown but we’ll see. This year has been rather tough for businesspeople; we’ve lost so much this year.
You see, when there’s no entertainment, or movement is restricted, people don’t care to buy nice clothes.
My biggest customers are mostly bankers, women who love quality. I’m a woman, I like to spend but this year I’m holding back a bit.
Sadie Outule, 26, Mahalapye – Beauty Therapist
I’m a big spender; I love shopping as you know women do! (Laughs) I’m not looking forward to Black Friday because I’m broke.
Even if there were a refrigerator somewhere that I’ve always wanted, it’ll just have to wait.
Covid affected my pockets, I’m not even sure how this Christmas holiday is going to be, might be a very sombre one because there’s no money.
My mom doesn’t work; I have a child so unfortunately this year there’ll be no spending.
Thato San, 30, Main Mall
I’ve never really cared for Black Friday. I know it is an exciting time for most women as ladies love shopping but I’m the exception.
I prefer to shop during quieter times as I don’t love crowds, so you will never find me queuing for discounts in the middle of the night at a big mall like Game City, especially during these pandemic times.
I am a smart shopper; specials and sales happen all year round and I think most people get overly excited about Black Friday thinking this huge savings when in fact the opposite is true.
Surely there are people who will agree with me on this point. I also prefer to buy second-hand items here at the main mall; things are way cheaper here and of a superior quality.
I own a spa so I’ll be busy anyway as I’m also going to try to attract more customers to my business.
Ruth Madibela, 44, Mahalapye
Ke emetse Black Friday ka matlho a mahibidu! (I am eagerly awaiting the Black Friday sales).
I feel like more than ever, it will be wise to take advantage of the sales this year because money’s been scarce; that’s if the price slashes will be substantial!
With my motshelo savings, I hope to bargain big time and buy enough clothes for my children, mother, nieces and nephews, and hopefully enough food too to last till the end of January.
Black Friday sales are my favourite for that reason, to buy way ahead – for Christmas and the subsequent month.
I’ll be queuing up at Airport Junction. Shops like Edgars and Shoprite – for food- never disappoint with real good deals, so yes, I am excitedly awaiting the big day!