Christmas came early thanks to Springbok World Cup win
As South Africa awaits confirmation that the economy shrank in the third quarter, the country’s rugby triumph may have provided a crucial consumer confidence boost to stave off a recession.
Shoprite told Business Insider SA that sales at its Shoprite and Checkers stores have picked following South Africa's Rugby World Cup victory.
“Shoprite and Checkers supermarkets are certainly seeing a general increase in sales,” a spokesperson said. “Usually Black Friday signals the start of the all-important festive trading period, but this year, partly in thanks to the Bokke, Christmas has definitely come early.”
“The rugby victory did wonders for lifting the national mood,” added John Bradshaw, Pick n Pay’s marketing retail executive.
Any boost to retail sales may help save the country from a possible recession - because there is a big chance that the local economy may have stalled in the third quarter. Manufacturing output fell by almost a percent in the third quarter compared to the second, with six of the ten manufacturing divisions reporting negative growth. Also, seasonally adjusted mining production decreased by 1.6% in the third quarter, with the output of platinum-group metals shrinking by more than 8%. Retail sales were flat in the third quarter compared to the second.
If the economy continues to shrink in the fourth quarter, which saw five days of load shedding, South Africa will officially be in a recession. The economy also contracted in the first quarter of 2018.
Retailers are pinning their hopes on Black Friday, a global day of sales that usually signals the start of the festive season spending for big retail brands.
In South Africa, shoppers spent close to R3 billion at stores on Black Friday 2018 - a leap in spending so high that it even helped ‘save’ the country's economy after a torrid year.
FNB reported that almost 30 million transactions were recorded on the Black Friday weekend, including Cyber Monday – up 16% from the previous year. A similar increase is expected this year.