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.
Not everybody is sold on Game’s “unbeatable” Black Friday deals but some discounts in the tech department trump the competition.
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.
Game lists new Black Friday specials with surprising tech discounts
Game has updated its extended Black Friday catalogue, with deals valid for seven days only, running from 18 to 24 November. After complaints about stock shortages during previous weekly promotions, Game has vowed to keep inventory at optimal levels but warns “when it’s gone, it’s gone”.
In keeping within the range of discounts offered during the two previous weeks of specials, Game customers can expect to find prices cut by 20% to 30%. Some shoppers argue that these discounts fall short of the Black Friday mark, with extended specials offered by competitors seeing prices slashed in half.
Still, Game’s Black Friday specials compete well with goods offered by other retailers at reduced rates. While some products are matched, and in some cases even beaten, by competitors, discounts in the tech and home entertainment departments deserve special mention.
A WD 2 terabyte Elements Hard Drive is going for R999, beating Massmart affiliates Makro by R100, and slashing other competitors’ prices by upwards of 20%. Similarly, the Samsung 500W Sound Tower Speaker has been discounted by 25% and is now retailing for R4,499. The JVC 2.1Ch Sound Bar with Wireless Subwoofer, discounted by 15%, edges the competition at R1,799.
The Hisense 299L Bottom Freezer Fridge, with water dispenser, selling for R3,999, also beats prices offered by competitors and is one of the more affordable freezer-fridge on offer during the extended Black Friday promotion.
Addressing the issue of stock shortages, Game has encouraged customers who find stores lacking to contact 0861 426 322 73 and provide feedback.
Makro updates weekly Black Friday deals – but PS4 ‘special’ fails to impress
As Black Friday draws nearer, Makro has ramped-up its extended weekly discount offers which began on 2 November. Now in its third instalment, weekly deals running from 16 to 22 November promise savings of up to 30% on televisions, laptops, and appliances.
Featured specials include a 28% discount on the Samsung 75″ Smart UHD LED television, which is now selling for R19,999. This price is matched by Takealot’s Blue Dot sale. The LG 601L Side-by-Side Fridge, which includes a freezer with water and ice dispenser, has been discounted by 20% to R23,999. This deal is beaten by Hirsch’s Homestore and Kloppers, which have both shaved more than R1,000 off the price offered by Makro.
The third-week deal which has received the most criticism is the PS4 1 TB Slim, which includes an extra DualShock Controller, priced at R7,999. This deal is easily beaten by Takealot, which has the same bundle on offer, without a Blue Dot sale discount, for R6,935. Makro’s PS4 ‘special’ is also a victim of poor timing, with the PS5 release scheduled for 19 November and retailing for R9,999. Potential customers took to social media to voice their disdain, accusing Makro of inflating pre-special prices to make discounts seem more impressive.
Makro’s latest catalogue does, however, have some redeeming discounts although they are few and far between. The Canon PIXMA G7040 Ink Tank Printer is priced at R5,999, which Makro says is a saving of R1,300, and competes well against offers from other retailers.
Better deals can be found when browsing for small appliances. The price of a Philips PerfectCare Steam Iron has been slashed by 53% to just R699, easily beating all other offers for the same product. Similar discounts extended to toaster and kettle bundles.
Pick n Pay launches early Black Friday sale with 260 products discounted
Following in the footsteps of other major supermarket outlets and continuing the trend from the previous year, Pick n Pay launched its extended Black Friday deals on 13 November 2020. In the two-week runup to retail’s favourite day of the year, Pick n Pay has listed 260 products which are available for online purchase and delivery only.
If you’re looking to score big in the home entertainment department, Pick n Pay has 16 items listed at discounted prices. The biggest TV on offer, the Samsung 82″ Smart UHD, has been marked down by 25% to R29,999, easily beating prices listed by Pick n Pay’s competitors.
The price of the Samsung 2.1 Soundbar Wireless Subwoofer 200W has been slashed by 40% and is now going for R2,799, competing well with prices offered by e-retailers. The price of a DSTV WiFi connector has been halved, now selling at only R99.
Pick n Pay has listed 14 appliances as part of its early Black Friday promotion. If you’re looking to keep cool this summer, the price of an AIM High Velocity Fan (30cm) has been cut by 38% and now costs just R399, which is the best offer, on this particular product, that we could find.
The discounts peak in the kitchen department, where the price of a 7 Piece Stainless Steel Cookware Set has been halved to R499. Selected cutting boards, cheese knives and frying pans are also at half-price.
Pick n Pay is also offering bulk buy specials across most aisles but ‘two-for-one’ deals are most common in the grocery section. Most 2L soft drinks are selling at four for R60.
If you’re looking to restock your hygiene supply cabinet, which during the current pandemic is more than likely, selected Dettol products have been grouped into bulk buy specials, with body wash’s selling at three for the price of R84. The price of Dettol Antiseptic Liquid (750ml) has been cut by 39% and now costs R45.
Game has 20% to 30% off pre Black Friday tech deals going – if you can find stock
Retailer Game is now selling some technology and kitchen gear at genuine discounts of between 20% and more than 30%, according to spot checks by Business Insider South Africa, in a batch of pre Black Friday deals.
But, despite its promises, shoppers have complained about stock availability.
One of the top current Game deals is a R1,000 saving on a LG 500W Sound Bar, which normally sells at R4,000, a discount of 25%. You can also save R2,000 on a Hisense 58” UHD Smart TV, which usually retails for R10,000 at Game, while also trimming R500 from the price of an Asus Intel Celeron N3350 notebook.
In home appliances, there is a good deal on a Hisense 415 litre bottom-freezer fridge, now retailing at R5,999, which is a R2,000 discount on what you would pay elsewhere.
Game has promised consistent stock availability at all stores. But social media was awash with reports of shortages on Monday 2 November.
UPDATE | After publication of this review, Game issued the following statement regarding stock availability:
Game has made every effort to ensure all stores have sufficient stock levels on all Black Friday deals. The retailer acknowledges stock issues at some of its stores have been challenging due to lockdown but has rectified this ahead of the Black Friday campaign.
Customers are reminded that the Black Friday deals are only valid in specific weeks and once the stock is gone, it’s gone. They must not delay if they wish to take advantage of these deals.
Customers are welcome to contact us on 0861 426 322 73 to report any issues they are experiencing with stock levels and we welcome their feedback.
Makro previewed “extended” Black Friday deals available from early November – but not all its claims stood up to scrutiny
Makro released a “sneak peek” of a sale that started on 2 November, as part of what it billed as an extended Black Friday sale.
But some of its discount claims were dubious.
The preview included a Canon Pixma three-in-one printer, selling for R2,799, which Makro said was a discount of R900, implying a normal price of R3,700.
In March this year Makro offered the same printer for R2,499, which it said was a R500 discount, which makes for a normal price of R3,000.
Although Makro was selling the printer at R3,700 – making its claimed discount technically correct – other outlet were offering the unit at roughly Makro’s “sale” price without claiming it as a special deal, while it was also for sale at well below the claimed “normal” price from other retailers.
The same was not true of all prices Business Insider reviewed. Makro’s claim of a R60 discount, or around 30%, on a 750ml bottle of Jack Daniel’s whiskey it was selling for R199 is, if anything, a little understated; you were likely to pay between R270 and R280 from other retailers.
* A previous version of this entry included a link to an offer on Loot.co.za for a Canon Pixma printer which Makro pointed out was a different model to the one it was advertising. That link has been removed, and Business Insider SA regrets the error. Makro said it stands by its discount calculations – but did not respond to questions on how that squares with others, such as Takealot, selling the same printer at the same prices, while not claiming it as discounted.
Woolworths had a 30%-off sale on some kitchen stuff, for one day only, online only – and it included a couple of decent deals
On the theme “Black Friday… but more”, Woolworths ran a one-day-only sale with 30% off part of its homeware range, for online shopping only, on 23 October.
Much of the included items were from Woolworths-specific lines of cookware and crockery, which made it hard to judge just how good the deals were – but the sale also included a handful of items from brands such as Joseph Joseph and knife-makers Global, and those prices compared well.
On a set of three Global knives, for instance, shoppers paid just under R2,100 on the Woolworths sale. At YuppieChef they would have paid R2,640 for the same thing on the day, while Takealot was selling it for R2,740.
On the cheaper end, a Joseph Joseph “Handi-Grate” multi-function tool from Woolworths came in at R245. You’d have paid R400 for that at Homechoice.
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.