This has been an extraordinarily difficult year for most South African retailers, with sales showing year-on-year declines for five consecutive months up to end-August, according to Stats SA. Many of them are hoping for a bumper Black Friday and festive season to set them back on the path to recovery following the income lost during the more restrictive levels of the COVID-19 lockdown.

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The retail cash bonanza that is Black Friday will have to be approached differently this year in view of Covid-19 prevention measures. But retailers that get it right, can end 2020 on a reasonably high note and set themselves up for growth and success.

Growing your business in a barren economy

In the lead up to the Budget Speech on Wednesday 26 February, the outlook for both consumers and retailers looks bleak. The primary balance adjustments are expected to fall short of previous estimations in combination with South Africa’s weaker nominal GDP growth, could mean an inevitable downgrade to junk status by ratings agency Moody’s.

Given that cash is still the most preferred method of payment in South Africa, Black Friday promises to be a cash bonanza for both consumers and retailers.

Given that cash is still the most preferred method of payment in South Africa, Black Friday promises to be a cash bonanza for both consumers and retailers.

According to Statistics SA, the months of October, November and December account for around 29% of annual sales – indicating clearly just how important the last few months of the year are for retail sales.

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