South Africans queue for Black Friday sales despite high cost of living

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Despite the current high cost of living, South Africans stayed up late to seek midnight savings.

Household debt is at 60% and unemployment was at 33.9% in the second quarter of this year, down from 34.5% in the first quarter, and a record high of 35.3% in the fourth quarter of 2021.

The current high interest rate environment has worsened the situation.

At midnight, customers were already queuing outside some retail stores for Black Friday deals.

Some shoppers were not impressed by the sales.

“I couldn’t get what I was looking for because the item was not really on sale,” says one shopper.

A survey has found that the number of shoppers is lower than expected at some shopping centres.

The vice president of one of the retail chain stores, Andrew Stein says, “We did a survey for two weeks which showed that customers are eager to come and shop the old fashion way.”

Tactful advertising

Experts have advised shoppers to pay attention to Black Friday deals and avoid falling prey to retailers’ tactful advertising.

After a tough financial year, CEO of the South African Savings Institute Gerald Mwandiambira says consumers should avoid plunging deeper into debt.

“We all know how much food prices have gone up. I would try and stock up on food and try to save it for the festive period and holidays. Especially with the rising cost of living, this year you need to shop wisely, especially around food. Another tip is if you haven’t really saved for it – don’t do it. With more South Africans cash strapped at the moment, it’s not a good idea to splurge on impulse spending because you will definitely regret it.”

In the video below, Credit Ombudsman’s Senior Legal Advisor, Avitha Nofal, provides consumers with financial advice for Black Friday:

Additional reporting by Prabashini Moodley.