Price review, news analysis, opinion
- A protest at Makro Germiston spilled out onto a nearby highway, and police used tear gas.
- A lot of the really good discounts released at midnight or early this morning are sold out – but second-wave deals are still available.
- There are some pretty good deals on beer, whisky, and brandy to be had, but you’ll want to buy by the case.
- Here’s what you need to know about Black Friday 2022 in South Africa, including the best deals and discounts we’ve seen.
- For more stories, go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.
South Africans – and especially South African retailers – have taken a shine to the Black Friday concept, and there are some good deals to be had on the day.
But there is also plenty of reason to be sceptical about claimed discounts; things may be genuinely cheaper than they normally are, but that doesn’t mean you won’t get them cheaper still after Christmas.
Here’s what you need to know about Black Friday 2022 in South Africa.
Tear gas comes out at Makro Germiston
On Thursday, Makro said a planned strike by workers would not disrupt Black Friday shopping.
But a protest in front of Makro Germiston spilled out onto the adjoining R24 highway, at times bringing traffic to a halt in both directions.
#ATT #AVOID Protestors blocking traffic on the R24 just before Edenvale road, protestors from the Makro now on the highway disrupting traffic. Let’s hope they don’t irritate the wrong person who then drives through the protesting crowd. pic.twitter.com/DuZQSH6JJ8
— Cliff – That’s All (@PigSpotter) November 25, 2022
Video from the scene showed police attempting to disperse protestors using tear gas and pyrotechnics, with limited effect.
Makro owner Massmart did not immediately respond to questions about the store, and whether other stores were affected.
The SA Commercial, Catering, and Allied Workers Union has demanded a 12% wage increase, Massmart has offered 4.5%.
There is some lunchtime shopping to be done, though the good first-wave discounts are gone
If you hit a “no longer available” or “out of stock” message earlier today on something you wanted, now is a good time to check back again. We’re seeing retailers release more stock under previous deals, and bringing online new offers for what is traditionally a healthy lunchtime sales period every Black Friday.
Some in-person shoppers also tell us they’re seeing retailers restock shelves and roll out fresh offers, lest people wandering in during a lunchtime break be too disappointed at their level of discounting.
Bulk-buy booze deals make for attractive beer and brandy prices
If you are buying a can here and a bottle there, the discounts can be a little underwhelming. But if you are looking for more serious quantities of booze, there are quite a few Black Friday deals to check out at liquor specialists.
We’ve seen Klipdrift at an effective R135 per bottle, Castle Lite at an effective R8.10 per 330ml can, and JC Le Roux Le Domaine at R55 per bottle.
Read it here | Some of the best deals on beer, champagne, whiskey, and other booze this Black Friday
FlySafair’s Black Friday deal cuts 30% off flights – mostly for February travel
Low-cost carrier FlySafair is running a Black Friday promotion, with it calls Black Fly-Yay, and is offering 30% off flights departing between 19 January 2023 and the 28 February 2023.
While not as eagerly anticipated as its R8 sale earlier this year, FlySafair’s Black Friday promotion is cutting the price of flights by almost a third, at a time when domestic airfares have surged.
The Black Fly-Yay sale, which began at midnight and will run until 23:59 on Friday, offers 30% off fares on all domestic routes and flights to Mauritius. The discount applies to base airfares, before any airport taxes or extras are added to the purchase.
“You may have to spend a little time in our waiting room before you can book your flights, but it sure beats having to handle the pushing, shoving and crazy queues at the shops,” said FlySafair in an email to its subscribers on Friday morning.
With the Black Friday discount applied, the cheapest one-way flight from Johannesburg OR Tambo to Cape Town in January is on Tuesday the 24th costing R757.84. Similar discounted prices on the same route can be found on 1, 11, 18 and 25 February.
No luck on PlayStation 5 – but XBox Series S is on special
South African shoppers looking to pick up discounted gaming consoles on Black Friday aren’t in luck.
The sought-after PlayStation 5 is around but not for sale at Black Friday bargain prices.
Retailers are running specials on the Xbox Series S, with Incredible Connection charging R5,799 at a 17% discount.
Read it here | You won’t find a PS5 Black Friday bargain – but the Xbox Series S is selling for cheaper
Fitbit sales are big – and Dis-Chem’s leading with 50% off
Fitbit smartwatches are on offer at discounted prices to South African shoppers.
Takealot, Totalsports, and Incredible Connection are offering deals on the wearable tech.
But Dis-Chem has the widest range on offer – at the biggest discount – on Black Friday.
There are some good tent deals at places you may not normally go looking for a tent
But more general retailers are worth a look this year.
But it is in bigger tents that the bigger savings are on offer. The 8-person Coleman Fastpitch Instant Cabin is R3,000 on Takealot. That’s a tent that easily goes for R5,000 – on special – and less than you can reasonably expect to spend for the 6-person version.
Another non-specialist retailer is also using tents as a drawcard. Game’s big “one day only” in-store sale includes the Camp Master Instant Cabin 10-sleeper for R2,500, while it will charge you R3,500 online. We’ve seen people try to sell used tents for the same price.
Midnight brought a couple of weird deals, including a tiny discount on a Ferrari and fibre internet without details
The midnight online reveals have grown fewer over recent years, as sales stretched over multiple years. So, at 00:01, not a great deal happened: no major websites we tried fell over, there was no huge Twitter outrage over too-limited stock – and no eye-popping deals caught our attention.
But there were some interesting offers.
That, said the seller, represents a discount of R30,000 – which is, in percentage terms, 0.6%.
Another head-scratcher came from fibre internet infrastructure provider Vumatel, which tweeted out an offer of three months free fibre to anyone who signs up over the weekend. It said only that “Standard T&Cs Apply” and pointed to a website with a enquiry form, but no further details.
That left unanswered many questions, including whether Vumatel is still charging its initial connection fee, and whether it would cover the cost of the internet service provider (ISP) that customers have to contract to connect that fibre line to the rest of the internet.
Vumatel did not immediately respond to questions.
Travel deals could finally return this Black Friday
There just aren’t enough flights, especially domestically, so you could struggle to find really cheap seats. But if you are shopping for touring or cruising, there are deals to be had this Black Friday.
And if you are shopping into 2023 and 2024, package holidays could be going at a really good discount, thanks to the expected full (or at least fuller) post-pandemic recovery of the airline industry by then.
Read it here | South Africans finally get some Black Friday travel deals – for the first time in two years
Makro isn’t worried about strike plans
The SA Commercial, Catering, and Allied Workers Union says it will picket Makro warehouseson Friday and Saturday. The union is demanding a 12% increase, while Makro owner Massmart has offered 4.5%.
But the company isn’t worried, saying it has contingency plans in place and expects no disruption to shopping.
Makro has a huge range of stuff on sale in online-only deals, from fans to frying pans, in what it calls its “Black 5 Day” promotion. Much of that comes with free delivery.
Read at News24 |Union plans pickets at Makro warehouses on Black Friday
There are some pretty good deals on air fryers
Several retailers are keen to sell air fryers this year, we think because it is still a relatively new category of supposedly must-have device that happens to be small enough to fit in a trolley but that carries a pretty high price tag.
Early Black Friday air fryer deals have already been selling well, retailers told us, and some of the prices are pretty attractive, with claimed discounts of up to R1,000.
We’ve seen prices ranging from R700 to R2,500, depending on brand and size.
Read it here | If you must buy an air fryer this Black Friday, these are some of the better deals on offer
Some big shoe retailers have specials going – but you may have to work for it
Several big-name shoe brands are now on sale for Black Friday, and many of South Africa’s biggest shoe retailers have special offers going. Having a weird size or shape of foot may be an advantage.
Some online stores are still holding out for midnight reveals, others have offers on limited stock.
Here’s where you can go looking for trainers, sneakers, sporty shoes, loafers, and sandals.
Read it here | Where to look for Black Friday shoe sales, including vellies, Nike, Adidas, and Birkenstock
Travel deals are back – after two years
This Black Friday promises a wide range of travel deals for South Africans following a two-year drought due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Travel promotions are likely to include discounts on flights, accommodation, and holiday packages.
However, travel deals on offer are likely to point towards travel in 2023/2024.
Read it here | South Africans finally get some Black Friday travel deals – for the first time in two years
Load shedding means you may have to show a bit more patience than in pre-pandemic times
Pretty much everyone thinks footfall numbers in stores and malls will be back around pre-pandemic levels this Black Friday – which isn’t necessarily good news.
On the one hand, bigger sales volumes means retailers can offer more and better genuine discounts. But with electricity rationing looming, there could be delays, even online.
Stores and malls with backup power will be okay, but will likely attract shoppers that may have gone elsewhere, making them extra crowded. Websites that may have struggled under demand anyway certainly won’t do any better when the power is off in some parts of the country, though the biggest online impact will likely be to your local internet connection, as always.
No matter what way you are shopping this Black Friday, keep in mind that load shedding may mess with your schedule.
Read it here | Black Friday blackouts to hurt SA shoppers and retailers – but malls with backup power will thrive
Here’s what else you need to know about Black Friday in South Africa.
When is Black Friday in South Africa?
The increasingly global special shopping day Black Friday falls on 25 November 2022. But South African retailers have rolling discount windows that stretch all the way through to early January – and that is important if you are looking for something with a big price tag but not necessarily a specific model, say a TV of a certain size but without a preference as to the manufacturer.
Are Black Friday prices good in South Africa?
We have closely tracked Black Friday promotions since 2018, and we have seen some eye-popping promotions. But the best deals tend to be on strictly limited products (and even sub-categories of products, such as specific colours for household goods), with limited stock available, for a limited period of time. Retailers are trying to get you to shop more, and sometimes they’re trying to clear shelves, but they’re not actually trying to do you a favour.
Prices can drop quite a bit below their Black Friday level in the weeks after, where retailers miscalculate demand and need to clear shelves.
In more recent years, we’ve seen a return to the old pre-Black-Friday days, where the post-Christmas sales can come bring lower prices than at any other time of the year.
This article is regularly updated. Pricing and availability is correct at publication, but with fast-expiring discounts and limited stock, we can make no guarantee of either.