Black Friday has come and gone, and the American tradition has dug in its heels in South Africa, gaining momentum with no signs of disappearing any time soon. Black Friday can be an opportunity to get a great price for that one thing you’ve been wanting to buy for ages or it could be a depressing stampede of guilt leaving poverty-stricken people indebted to the sultry allure of lower prices on items they couldn’t afford in the first place. It all depends on how you look at it.
But what’s this I said about debt? It is probably the most terrifying financial term of our time and days like Black Friday have the potential to grow personal dept exponentially. This is how it usually works: The financially vulnerable want to buy a TV. They want one that costs R10 000. The can afford to pay R2 000. Black Friday rolls around and suddenly that TV is on sale for only R4 000. They stand at the door from early Friday morning and make their purchase. The problem is, despite the festive price cut, they still cannot afford that TV. Soon they are unable to pay other bills because of the R2 000 shortage and the TV has to be returned.
This has been a prevalent problem in America, the home of this Commercial Free for All, but the trends see South Africans going down a different path. With the emergence of these new SALE seasons, South African are planning their spending better and taking advantage of days like Black Friday with Savvy foresight. Instead of buying anything they’ve ever wanted, they are buying what they would have bought anyway. That is why brands like Woolworths and Pick’nPay are in the lead. People are buying food, clothes and household items in South Africa instead of splurging on Luxury goods.