So you may recall last year how I complained bitterly about the madness that’s also known as Black Friday.
This year I feel a little guilty about what I said.
And while I’m glad that we didn’t see the stampedes this time that we had in previous years, I’m a little disappointed that retailers didn’t make the sales that they were expecting to.
By all accounts Black Friday was a catastrophic flop, especially for physical shops.
The reason for that is a combination of fear of Coronavirus infection, and quite simply a lack of money.
Even those who do have some spare cash are hanging onto it because they don’t know what the future holds.
As I’ve said before, Covid-19 has ripped the carpet of security from underneath all of us.
Jobs that were previously seen as very secure, no longer feel that way, so people the world over no longer spend as freely as they used to.
And let’s face it, on Black Friday many people buy things that they simply do not need. Because who can resist a good bargain?
And that is really the problem. Many are now asking how good our Black Friday bargains really are, especially when you compare them against the sales that people in other parts of the world enjoy.
Those genuine bargains on appliances and devices are often well over 50%.
By contrast, I have heard stories of South Africans saying they’ve seen a Black Friday sale item for almost the same price that it normally is, and sometimes even more.
In fact, social media bashed one of the biggest online retailers again this year.
Many complained that they inflate the original price to make the discount seem larger than it actually is.
Some shoppers even posted evidence of having paid less for items on normal shopping days before Black Friday.
Whatever the truth is, retailers could have done with a boost this year. Not just for themselves, but also to retain their staff and to ensure bonuses, which I’m sure few people will be getting.
One of the urban legends around Black Friday is that it was conceived to get retailers out of the red and into the black ahead of the festive season.
But from the looks of it, with all the money they would have spent advertising their deals, this Black Friday may have put them even deeper in the red.