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Here's what people bought on #BlackFriday sales this year

Face masks and home appliances are 2020's top items

Wendy Knowler Consumer journalist
Face masks and home appliances topped South Africans' Black Friday shopping list in 2020, as many plan for a Christmas at home amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Face masks and home appliances topped South Africans' Black Friday shopping list in 2020, as many plan for a Christmas at home amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Image: 123RF/espies

The story of 2020 is mirrored in SA's top online retailer’s top 10 #BlackFriday2020 best-sellers, with packs of disposable face masks being topped only by air fryers.

Four of Takealot’s top five sellers — in terms of number of units sold — were products which made the e-tailer’s Top 10 for the first time: the pack of 50 3-ply face masks, a Rain 4G SIM, Star Master Night Light in blue and pink, and packs of 50 Finish Auto Dishwashing All-in-One tablets. The latter goes hand in hand with a surge in dishwasher sales this year.

“Dishwashers were one of our top sellers this Black Friday,” said Margaret Hirsch, COO of Hirsch’s Homestores. “We sold literally thousands and have thousands more on back order.”

Takealot’s other, more traditional top sellers were Samsung and Hisense TVs, the PlayStation 4 console and 3 Game bundle, laptops, wearable tech such as the Garmin Fenix 6X Pro Sports Watch and Apple AirPods Pro completed the top sellers list.

Hirsch said TV sales were 54% up on last year and cooking appliances also spiked this year, compared to previous years.

“Many people are staying home for Christmas and will be cooking for the first time in years,” she said. “I have been inundated with requests on how to cook a turkey in the oven, microwave and Weber braai.”

At the start of lockdown the retailer recorded its best-ever month for chest freezer sales, and exceeded that in November.

“Fridges and freezers were by far the best sellers, closely followed by vacuum cleaners with Dyson winning the race,” she said.

“Small appliances and gadgets sales have boomed as just about every home now has a Masterchef in the kitchen.”

In Massmart stores Makro and Game, top sellers were a 25-litre cooler box, and, on the other end of the spectrum, a Smart HD TV.

A Raleigh bicycle, rechargeable lanterns, fridge/freezer combos and kettles also sold in huge volumes in-store.

“In terms of online, most Makro shoppers who opted for the Click and Collect option did so not to avoid a trip to the store, but to reserve highly desirable products,” said the group’s senior vice-president of group corporate affairs, Brian Leroni. “And when they collected the product in store, they shopped more.

“We found that very interesting.”

BankServ Africa's preliminary tally of Black Friday transactions shows total in-store card purchases numbered 4,967,022 (30% down from 2019). Online sales reached 868,903, which was 62% up on 2019’s figures.

GET IN TOUCH: Wendy Knowler specialises in consumer journalism. You can reach her via e-mail: consumer@knowler.co.za or on Twitter: @wendyknowler


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