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News from Africa

Black Friday 2021

The data is still coming in, but the question must be – what happens when Black Friday becomes Sales Week in November? And the obvious answer is that sales on that Friday disappoint but overall turnover increases. The Sales Week, according to PayU saw a 19% increase in fashion and electronics; beauty and health were down by 31% and 34% respectively, and significant growth was observed in the delivery service sector. The last 12 months have seen a mass acceleration in how South Africans order on-demand groceries and takeaway foods. Overall, transactions increased by 30%, but expenditure only increased by 6% according to PayU.

Over Black Friday EFSA monitors payment disruptions with BankServ and PASA. No significant problems were reported, certainly, because a peak in volumes of sales experienced in past years on the day did not happen. However, payment gateways noted a significant drop in EFT payments which could be contributed to FNB’s campaign against Instant EFT payment services. Did this result in a drop in total business over the period? So far, we cannot tell. It would be interesting to find out.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in Africa Black Friday has also spread beyond just the day. In its recent report to the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Jumia, (which is listed on the NYSE), reported that sales grew over the Black Friday season by 30% to reach $150m. Orders received rose by 39% to reach 4.3 million and the number of Jumia merchants also increased by 11% to 46,000. Jumia recorded 40 million unique visitors, a 27% increase over the period. Packages handled over the Black Friday season by Jumia Logistics reached 5.3m.


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