Zim shops join Black Friday frenzy

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THE Christmas season is upon us and the Black Friday phenomenon during which retail shops slash prices of products of selected goods up to 95 percent has trickled down to Zimbabwe as some giant retail outlets have embraced the concept.

Black Friday – which is being commemorated today – is an informal name for the day following Thanksgiving Day in the United States. It is the fourth Thursday of November which has been regarded as the beginning of the Christmas shopping season since 1952.

The shopping event sees people all over the world getting discounted products as retailers slash prices.

Shops’ prices plummet for 24 hours in an attempt to get people splashing the cash in the run-up to Christmas.

The term “Black Friday” did not become widely recognised or used until the 1980s and later in some regions. In Africa, South Africa was one of the first countries to recognise this day with its shops slashing prices, attracting shoppers from across the globe. In Zimbabwe, outlets such as Edgars, Mattress Furn, TV Sales and Hire have embraced this concept and are running the Black Friday promotion today.

Edgars Zimbabwe said: “The shopping phenomenon has spread from the United States and is now a highly anticipated event the worldover. Taking a leaf from our neighbour South Africa which has been running the promotion for almost 10 years, Edgars is the only major clothing retailer that has embraced Black Friday in Zimbabwe”.

Giving reasons why people should take advantage of shopping on Black Friday, Edgars Zimbabwe said:

“It gets people into the holiday spirit and saves people money. It’s also a perfect time to burn calories while people spend time with family and friends.”

A quick research showed that most luxury buses from Bulawayo to Johannesburg are fully booked this weekend with fares going up to as much as R850 (one way) from about R450 because of a rise in customers. Sadly, most buses are not running the Black Friday promotion for those travelling to South Africa.

Other than retail outlets, entertainment joints like Bulawayo nightclubs Crystal, Zarah Lounge and Cosmopolitan are also holding Black Friday promotions. Ntando Ndlovu, Crystal, Zarah and Cosmopolitan Night Club marketing consultant, said specials are on offer at the three nightspots tonight.

“There’ll be massive discounts on selected beverages. At Cosmopolitan, we normally make people pay as from 11PM, but for Black Friday it’ll be free until after midnight,” said Ndlovu.

Here are the top five shopping tips for shopping on Black Friday

1. Prioritise your shopping list
When making a list of items you need to buy, list them first by store and then by order of importance.

This will put the “must find” items at the top so you can first focus on finding them as you visit each store. When you get there, first walk to that department to find the item you want.

2. Do your homework
“Only rookies head out on Black Friday unprepared.” To get ready, study as many adverts as possible – in both print and online before you go shopping. Decide which shops you will shop at.

3. Get out early
It means less sleep, but the sooner you can get to the store, the more likely you will find the items you want. Plan on waking up early (or staying up really late) to get the items on your list.

4. Shop with a friend
Not only is it more fun to shop with someone you love, but it can be helpful too! If there are a few must have items on your list, you can work together to find them. Your friend can visit the electronics section for the video game you want while you are in the toy aisle finding another item on your list.

5. Get social
Follow your favourite stores online through their Facebook pages and Twitter feeds. Retailers will often reward their followers with special deals.

6. Remember not everything is really a deal
Not everything on Black Friday is a deal. Often times, retailers do not have to offer their lowest prices until closer to December 25. That may mean the item on sale 30 percent off might drop to 40 percent off or more the closer you get to Christmas. Always check the original sticker price on the product or the shelf. Compare that to the discount to see if it is really a great deal. Not all items will be deeply discounted, so don’t fall for the hype of the shopping season.

Another thing you need to check is for the inflated discount. This is when retailers will say an item is on sale for $89.99 — down from $149.99. In your mind, you see a deal. However, a small bit of research shows you that the retail price was too high to begin with and everyone offers that item for that same price. It is not truly a deal and you might pass and wait for a better offer.–chroncile.co.zw

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