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Its Black Friday!

MOMPATI TLHANKANE DUMISANI NCUBE
Shoppers at Game Store in Gaborone's Game City Mall waiting for the doors to open at midnight PIC. FACEBOOK
Thanksgiving is done and guess what? Today is Black Friday! Its that shopping day and that time of year when brands apply outrageous discounts to your favourite clothes, food and the list goes on. Arts & Culture Writers MOMPATI TLHANKANE & DUMISANI NCUBE dive deep into the Black Friday trend in Botswana.

At this time shopaholics have already put together a list of everything they do not want to miss as today’s Black Friday escalates the Christmas holiday shopping season. At this time cooperative societies commonly known as motshelo have already collected their money and are eyeing those sales for food top-ups. Children on the other side are already eyeing their parent’s wallets, as they also want to look glamorous during the festive season. Others are looking for the best and perfect gifts to give their loved ones as they gather for the holiday season ahead. Office Christmas parties are also around the corner so it is time to hunt those designer fashion brands.

Even though some people have been saving since the beginning of the year, everyone has one thing in common, to put their shopper hat on but spend less. And that’s where Black Friday comes in. While others may dismiss Black Friday as a foreign concept some big-name retailers slash their prices a bit but it’s not a given that most of your favourite stores will join in.

Arts & Culture scouted around town for the biggest deals and discounts this Black Friday and it looks like most of these brands are secretive about their discounts and may be they are leaving it until the last minute. While they do not want to give anything away, its quite common in Botswana that retailers would never offer up to 70% discount like in countries such as the U.S.

Speaking of America, Black Friday was originally a US trend because it falls on the day following thanksgiving (which is always the fourth Thursday in November). It was originally called Black Friday because so many people went out to shop that it caused traffic accidents and sometimes even violence. The Philadelphia Police Department coined the phrase to describe the mayhem surrounding the congestion of pedestrian and automobile traffic in the downtown area. Today officially opens the Christmas shopping season all over the world. It usually brings massive traffic jams and over-crowded sidewalks as the downtown stores are mobbed from opening to closing. Black Friday has always been a favourite to many around the world especially women because this is the time when they buy different commodities for the festive season at a cheaper price.

It is sometimes the right time to purchase fashion and lifestyle oriented products and goods. It also includes services whereby some can get a traveling package at a good price from an agency.

With this being a challenge to many, a number of retail outlets

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failed to accommodate everyone and extended the Black Friday sale period. They should have benchmarked with the likes of UK’s Amazon Echo which was quick to post, “‘The Amazon.co.uk Black Friday Sale will run from 17th to 26th November, with major discounts on Christmas gifts for everyone on your list, from the latest consumer electronics and Amazon devices to this year’s must-have toys, games, fashion, jewelry, beauty and home items”.

Black Friday is not all a happy day in Botswana due to a number of factors that have taken place or are taking place. Most people only get to receive their salaries at the end of the month and only a few have been paid around this period.

It also comes at the time when a number of companies in the country have and are still retrenching people.  Some people have lost their jobs this year especially in the mining sector due to the economic and financial hardships.

Therefore in the end, it is not everyone who will enjoy Black Friday. To top it all, shops and retail fail to offer good discount prices on their goods. “In terms of pricing I have not seen anything impressive yet, the discount are not that much different from the original prices. I have an impression that a number of shops just want to empty their shelves. I advice consumers to shop around and ask questions on the warranty of goods so they will not fall on traps,” Richard Harriman from Consumer Watchdog said in an interview.

Most shops around the country only slashed their goods with a maximum of five to 10% discount. Make-up artist and socialite, Tlhomamo Diamond was not shy to express himself on social media about the prices. “Black FRIDAY ya Botswana kana go tewa Tastic etswa ko go P79.95 eya ko go P77.95 (sic),” he wrote. 

Despite all of this, there are those who are going to make the most of it, so big local retail giants like Choppies have already outlined that today is Black Friday. Unfortunately there is no Black Friday special in shops like Woolworths and Sefalana but for clothes, Edgars is currently offering Black Friday sale. While others are offering the Black Friday secretly to avoid overcrowding, it is always wise to put your eyes up for that opportunity whenever it may arise today in any of these stores. In spite of it all the massive spending frenzies has officially begun and it is the perfect time to get that designer bag you have been eyeing for a while.



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