South Africa

Wear your masks, keep your distance and sanitise, Mkhize says as shoppers hit Black Friday queues

Long queues and crowds are a common feature of Black Friday as consumers hunt down the best deals — and health minister Zweli Mkhize has cautioned shoppers to be careful to avoid any chance of contracting Covid-19.

Mkhize said consumers should make sure their Black Friday shopping includes sanitising, social distancing and wearing face masks at all times.

National police spokesperson Col Brenda Muridili could not immediately be reached to comment on the consequences for those found not to be complying with Covid-19 legislation.

“Remember, Black Friday is just one of the early sales of the festive retail season and bargains don’t always have to be snapped up immediately. There will be other opportunities and impulse buying driven by the bargain frenzy is not the way to go. You could walk away saving money on a few items, but losing more with your maxed-out credit card and store account you don’t need,” he said.

Black Friday doesn’t have to end in arrears and tears. There is opportunity in the madness and Black Friday sales can offer opportunities to stock up essentials in bulk, or major discounts on big-ticket items — if you go in with your eyes open.

Sasi gave the following tips to survive Black Friday:

TimesLIVE

This year, most big retailers came up with creative ways to mark Black Friday while avoiding where possible exposing customers to Covid-19. Some are running month-long promotions while others had their specials available only online.

A Mastercard study has revealed the rapid growth of online shopping, with 68% of South African consumers shopping more online than they did before the pandemic.

The study highlights a surge in spending across various sectors. According to the survey, the majority of South Africans (81%) have shopped online for data and airtime, 56% for clothing, 54% for groceries and 51% for beauty and hair care products since the pandemic started.

The CEO of the South African Savings Institute (Sasi), Gerald Mwandiambira, has, however, warned consumers that they should not overspend on things they don’t need. He said consumers will be bombarded with promotions that they may feel they must have to avoid missing out.

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