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Black Friday is on 27 November – but everyone from Woolworths to Dis-Chem want you to sign up now

Game and Makro are promising an all-month Black Friday in November

The annual Black Friday discount bonanza falls on 27 November this year. All indications are that it will be big in South Africa again – despite everything 2020.

In 2019 many retailers reported disappointing Christmas sales because shoppers spent so much money in late November, trying to lock in good Black Friday bargains.

Various big outlets, such as Dis-Chem and Woolworths are now running campaigns urging potential buyers to sign up for e-mail notifications on deals, while the likes of Takealot set up landing pages.


Black Friday was a major shopping event in South Africa last year, as South Africans rushed to find bargains well ahead of the traditional Christmas shopping period.

The result was smaller sales for major chain stores during December – even before SA’s economy and consumer spending took a nose-dive in 2020 due to trouble that included the novel coronavirus.


With wallets tight and everyone looking for a good deal, Black Friday 2020 (on 27 November this year) is expected to be bigger than ever, with lots of competition among retailers.

Here is what we know about Black Friday 2020 so far.


Woolworths, Dis-Chem, and others want you to sign up to email notifications about deals

As experts predict that a much higher proportion of Black Friday spend will be online this year, stores that could previously count on customers walking in and finding deals on the floor are now working hard to sign South Africans up to email notifications for special prices.

Dis-Chem says it will be offering deep discounts on wheelchairs and oximeters (popular as a home diagnostic tool for the severity of Covid-19 symptoms) this year – and has urged its loyalty-scheme members to make sure their contact details are up to date so they can “be the first to be notified” of specials via email.

Woolworths has a sign-up campaign with the tag line “never miss a deal”, and more specialist shops, such as the Adidas online outlet, are also buying ad space just to capture email addresses. Others, including Makro, are also pushing the message that registering with it will allow you to be “the first to see our deals”.

Online outlets, on the other hand, are making quiet preparations for Black Friday that suggest a certain confidence that shoppers will find them – such as Takealot’s landing page for Black Friday 2020, so far without any detail whatsoever of what may actually be for sale.


Game and Makro are promising an all-month Black Friday in November

Two chains that make a meal of Black Friday every year, Game and Makro, said they’ll be spreading deep discounts throughout November, rather than going with the three to five days of specials they’ve run in previous years.

“Black Friday traditionally sees high concentrations of shoppers in retail stores across the country, which can create a challenging shopping environment,” said Brian Leroni, corporate affairs executive for the two chains’ parent company Massmart.

The first “Black Friday” deals will land on 2 November, and the last ones are due on 29 November.

Massmart has not yet said what it will be discounting – instead encouraging potential buyers to follow Game and Makro on social media or subscribe to their emails – but in previous years it has sold everything from mid-range TVs to extremely expensive whiskey at reduced prices.


When is Black Friday in South Africa this year?

The date of Black Friday changes each year. This year, Black Friday lands on Friday, 27 November, slightly under a month from Christmas.

But like many other retail holidays, Black “Friday” really starts several days — or even weeks in the case of some retailers — before the real event. The high anticipation for deals is enough to make retailers launch sales early, as they try to lock in the limited spending South Africans can afford.

We believe that competition among supermarket group, and their attempts to create buzz, may see really good deals available as early as the beginning of November.

If you want the best deals, try to hang on to some cash from October, rather than waiting to be paid in November to have the money to spend on “Black Friday” specials.

How long do Black Friday sales last?

Again, don’t be fooled by the name that suggests it’s a single day. It’s most definitely not. It’s more like a shopping season that begins in early November.

Black Friday sales generally start days or weeks in advance of the actual shopping event or continue on until Cyber Monday. Better yet, some retailers hold their deals until well after both events to further boost the entire December shopping season.


Where can I find the best Black Friday deals in South Africa?

There are a lot of good deals – and some fake “discounts” – during the Black Friday season. South African retailers are not above luring you into a store with one genuinely good price, then trying to sell you on specials that aren’t that good.

At Business Insider South Africa we highlight the best and worst deals we can find. Bookmark this page and check back here for everything we know about Black Friday 2020, as soon as we know it.

If you want to see what major retailers to watch, check out our favourite discounts last year from Game, Woolworths, Pick n Pay, Boxer, Checkers, Spar, Dis-Chem, and Clicks.

Until the deals go live and we can tell you about them, here are some of the best ways we’ve found to discover good Black Friday deals early.

  • Identify the stores that have what you want, and subscribe to their email newsletters. Just about everyone will send you an email if you provide an address, and those mails often have early notification of specials.
  • Ditto for social media. Retailers love Twitter and Facebook, and try hard to keep their followers fed with information.
  • Also, download the apps. Online, and especially brick-and-mortar store shopping apps, may seem superfluous, but they can be the bargain hunter’s best friends.Push notifications can alert you the minute new sales items are released, and some stores even offer app-only Black Friday specials.
  • Build a wishlist. If nothing else, telling a target store what you want will make your shopping faster on the day. With any luck you’ll get personalised offers too.
  • If you want to be sneaky, try to put what you want in a cart a couple of days early, then walk away from it. You may just score an abandoned-cart discount.