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Black Friday boom


The best selling toy of the day was the Jeronimo My First Sewing Machine while the best selling book was Prooi by local author Fanie Viljoen

Picture: AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

ONLINE retailer takealot.com’s annual five-day blue dot sale went live at 12.01am on Friday morning and generated record sales for the e-retailer on Black Friday, the company said yesterday.

Thousands of shoppers took to the site with 68 percent choosing to shop the best deals from their mobile phones on the takealot apps and mobi site.

Within the first hour,
R11.5 million in GMV (gross merchandise value) was generated and by 8.30am the retailer surpassed its entire Black Friday 2017 GMV. The total transaction value for Black Friday 2018 on takealot.com amounted to over R196 million – a 125 percent year-on-year growth in GMV and 127 percent growth in orders.

“We are humbled by the incredible support from our customers on our biggest sales day of the year. Black Friday is a great opportunity for first time shoppers to trial online shopping and this year we saw a record number of new buyers make the most of the deals on offer,” CEO Kim Reid said.

“We paid special attention to securing quality deals on top brands. Best sellers included Christmas stocking fillers like Tommy Hilfiger Girl For Her perfume to December holiday camping essentials like the Nu Camp Folding Table. Electronics again proved to be a firm favourite with over 3 000 TVs sold on the day,” said Reid.

Shoppers took the opportunity to save on everyday essentials from Pampers nappies to digital devices, such as WD Elements 1TB portable hard drive and the new DSTV Explora 2. The best selling toy of the day was the Jeronimo My First Sewing Machine while the best selling book was Prooi by local author Fanie Viljoen.

“The takealot delivery team is now focused on delivering orders in accordance with the estimated delivery dates shared with customers at check out. Customers are able to track their orders every step of the way, from the warehouse to their door, by using takealot’s order tracking service on desktop and mobile,” Reid said.

The takealot blue dot sale extends through the weekend into Cyber Monday, culminating in Takealot Tuesday with hundreds of new deals being added daily.

However, the shopping spree in the United States seemed less wild this year. Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving that marks the official start of the US holiday shopping season, pulled in $6.22 billion in online sales this year, up 23.6 percent from a year ago and setting a new high, according to Adobe Analytics, which tracks transactions for 80 of the top 100 internet retailers in the United States, including Walmart and Amazon.

However, it does not mean traditional retailers have lost their appeal. Buy online and pick up in stores grew to be a popular option for shoppers this holiday season, with “click-and-collect” orders increasing 73 percent from Thursday to Friday, according to Adobe.

While online sales made inroads, retail malls were still packed though definitely not mobbed. More than 164 million Americans are expected to shop over the five days from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, projected the National Retail Federation.

South Coast Plaza, the largest shopping mall on the West Coast of the United States, predicted that nearly 200 000 people would have visited the center, who set a record of the county in sales of over $1.5 billion last year and is seeing a new record in 2018.

“Today was the busiest day after Thanksgiving in South Coast Plaza’s history,” Debra Gunn Downing, spokeswoman for South Coast Plaza, told Xinhua on Friday. “Some shoppers came for the Black Friday promotions while others came to enjoy the holiday atmosphere. There were lines outside the doors of some boutiques, including Chanel.”