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Black Friday shoppers spent R4.5bn, with jewellers seeing largest single transaction

| Economic factors

By: TimesLive

Black Friday 2023 levels reflected tougher economic conditions in South Africa, but sales totalled R4.5bn.

This is according to Bankserv Africa, which provides payment clearing services to banks.

“In-store shopping was slightly down from last year's levels compared to online, which delivered again as merchants upped their Black Friday promotions and attracted interest from eager consumers,” said Bankserv Africa’s head of stakeholder engagements Shergeran Naidoo.

The highest single transaction value by card amounted to R113,000 at a luxury jewellery boutique.

Overall, however, Naidoo said “the financial constraints faced by consumers were clearly visible in this year's Black Friday spending patterns”.

“Consumers stocked up on well-priced goods with spend at supermarkets in the lead followed by department stores.”

Bankserv Africa's online card authentication service recorded a Black Friday total of 1.4-million transactions to the value of R1.39bn. This represents 11% growth on the 1.2-million transaction volumes and 29% improvement on the R1bn registered in 2022.

Getting a head start for the online bumper specials, South Africans began shopping at midnight with 30,770 transactions tracked in the first hour, showing a 4% annual increase. Between 8am and 9am 89,362 online sales were recorded, 124% up from transactions at the same time on the previous day. After slowing down, online sales picked up again and peaked between 10am and 11am with 93,814 transactions recorded. The final hour of Black Friday reflected the strongest hourly year-on-year online growth of 37% with 34,157 transactions.

While showing a slight downturn from 2022, in-store shopping levels remained relatively high with activity increasing by the hour.

“The total volume of in-store card transactions amounted to 5.9-million, declining by 6% compared to 6.3-million in 2022,” Naidoo said.

The total value of transactions amounted to R3.1bn, a decline of 21% year-on-year from the R3.9bn previously recorded.

Most bargain hunters hit the shops later in the day. In 2023, in-store sales volumes were the highest between 4pm and 5pm with 496,399 transactions recorded.

The highest number of swipes by a single cardholder was 644 compared with 827 in 2022.

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