This year’s Black Friday – November 29, which can also be referred to as the biggest sales promotion event around the world has given a temporary relief to local customers whose purchasing power has significantly shrunk due to low disposable incomes and run-away inflation.
The sales promo comes at a time inflation in Zimbabwe has reached 440.1% year on year as at October 2019 using ZIMSTAT figures whilst others claim that it has crossed the 500% mark.
Most businesses have been reporting subdued sales volumes due to the constrained consumer demand as the value of the local currency continue to depreciate in value compared to other foreign currencies.
In fact, the local currency has lost over 80% of its value to the US dollar since its introduction in February 2019 despite local authorities tinkering with policy and legislation to protect its value.
An observation on the ground saw most businesses including clothing retailer Edgars Limited which operates Edgars chain and Jet chain stores opening doors as early as 6am to the stampede of many customers.
Our team on the ground reported price discounts offerings of up to 75 percent and long queues to the till points as quite a number of customers stormed the shops to buy products on promotion.
Other businesses including TM Pick n Pay, Spar Zimbabwe, Power Sales, TV Sales and Home and Simbisa Brands among others have also launched a range of discounts on their products.
Living standards for most people in Zimbabwe has been worsening as they struggle to afford basics such as bread and mealie-meal. Making matters worse is the effects of the ravaging Cyclone Idai which left a trail of destruction along the Eastern parts of the country as well as Masvingo areas.
In addition, the effects of El Nino induced drought has left most households food insecure with more than 8 million people in need of food aid according to the latest United Nations report.
Origins of Black Friday
The term “Black Friday” was actually first associated with financial crisis, not sales shopping.
Two Wall Street financiers Jim Fisk and Jay Gould, together bought a significant amount of US gold in the hope of the overall price soaring and in turn being able to sell it for huge profits.
On Friday, September 24 1869, in what became referred to as “Black Friday”, the US gold market crashed and Fisk and Gould’s actions left Wall Street barons bankrupt.
It was not until later years that the post-Thanksgiving period became associated with the name.
Equity Axis News
Raynold Mhotseka is a Journalism and Media Studies student at the University of Zimbabwe. He serves as a news writer at financial research firm, Equity Axis where he is currently on attachment. He can be contacted through the following email links, email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.