It seems promotions for Black Friday sales are starting earlier and lasting longer, “morphing into ‘Black November'”, according to PwC.

“Retail planning and imports are shifting earlier to accommodate both Black Friday and December shopping,” it said in a statement ahead of Black Friday (November 23).

The trend for a longer promotional period than just on the day itself, is reflected in increased online interest in Black Friday.

According to PwC’s strategy and behavioral economists, rational decision-making abilities are at their weakest on Black Friday, as marketers can easily leverage consumers’ cognitive make-up to get them to spend more.

BankservAfrica recorded R2.5bn worth of transactions on Black Friday in 2017. The 4.7 million card transactions that it cleared on the Friday were double the daily average.

“Household budgets are being pressured by the recession, record-high fuel prices and a recent rise in inflation and value-added tax,” says PwC.

Karl Westvig, CEO of SME funder Retail Capital, agrees that Black Friday has grown more into a month-long “consumer spending frenzy”.

“Even though it is tempting to relegate Black Friday as just another marketing gimmick, the reality is that it signifies the start of a month-long consumer spending frenzy that significantly boosts retail revenues,” he comments.

This article was first published by fin24.com on the 22 November 2018