Retailers expect Black Friday to be 'a big success'

Black Friday this year is expected to be another 'big success' according to GRTU CEO Abigail Mamo, although retailers are concerned over lack of human resources 

While the GRTU does partially agree that Black Friday could affect Christmas sales it still believes that the overall consumption will increase
While the GRTU does partially agree that Black Friday could affect Christmas sales it still believes that the overall consumption will increase

The international shopping day phenomenon commonly known as Black Friday kicks off this week, with not only big savings on the day, but with various outlets offering deals from today.

This year Black Friday falls on 23 November. Traditionally, an American Holiday, it falls straight after Thanksgiving in the US and is widely known as one full of deals.

With online retail stores such as Amazon offering ridiculously cheap prices for items ahead of the Christmas season, Malta over the last few years has embraced Black Friday wholeheartedly with sales increasing during this period due to shops opening late and introducing more discounts and offers every year.

GRTU CEO Abigail Mamo told MaltaToday that the GRTU believed that Black Friday would be a success this year, with an increase in awareness but also additions in business participation. However, Mamo said that concerns were raised over the lack of human resources available.

“We believe that Black Friday will be another big success this year with increased consumer awareness but also additions in business participation. A concern highlighted was the lack of available human resources that could assist clients. We hope that this year businesses will be able to mitigate this by having all hands on deck on the day.”

The scene outside Forestals last year
The scene outside Forestals last year

Last year, the GRTU expressed fears over Black Friday, stating that this would take away from the spending usually made during the Christmas season.

“Concerns expressed last year in Black Friday were that this might be a shift in consumption from the spend in the Christmas season but our end-of-year survey highlighted an overall positive year for business and that the Black Friday impact was minimal in this regard.”

This year, Black Friday is expected to surpass last year’s sales, and most of the deals from local stores have already caused a buzz on the island among shoppers hoping for a bargain or two.

The Point Shopping mall was the first place to promote the day in Malta, introducing extended hours and discounts over the years. This year, it will once again be open from 9am until midnight on the day with all the shops inside offering specific items on discount.   

Forestals, for the fourth time, will also be holding Black Friday sales which will follow into the weekend on numerous items in store.

Klikk is kicking off Black Friday as early as Monday, with offers on for the entire week ending in a “mega sale” on Friday in both of its stores.
Computer store Scan Malta, for the third consecutive year, will have discounts on popular items, with sales of 70% and more on the day. The discounted items will be known in-store on the day. These are just a few of the shops on the island that are participating in the event.  

Mamo said that the GRTU does partially agree that Black Friday could affect Christmas sales, however, the GRTU still believes that the overall consumption will increase as consumers appreciate the offers and will spend more.

“Members fear a shift in consumption and when taking everything into consideration we do believe that this is partially true but we also believe that overall consumption increases as consumers appreciate the advantageous offers and spend more willingly.”

Mamo explained that members within the GRTU this year were taking Black Friday as an opportunity and have joined the phenomenon in increasing numbers. Furthermore, she acknowledged that members outside of the traditional shopping localities and those who do not sell items traditionally associated with Black Friday do have a harder time including themselves in the holiday.

“Members that are positioned outside the traditional shopping localities and those that are not normally associated with Black Friday have a harder time including themselves and some naturally suffer from low sales as a consequence. It is however very enjoyable to see this united momentum and very diverse business sectors coming up with different innovative ideas to rise to the occasion.”

The concerns that were put forward last year with regard to traffic, remain an issue for the GRTU as members fear traffic may be accentuated. “It is because of this that the GRTU will be discussing special arrangements with the authorities with the aim to ease traffic flows on the day,” Mamo said.

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