Black Friday started off particularly slowly across SA as store managers waited with bated breath for customers amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
A few Johannesburg early birds were left disappointed as the stores at the Mall of Africa remained closed shortly after midnight.
They resorted to window shopping.
Shoppers were wearing face masks in line with Covid-19 protocols.
At Durban’s Pavilion Mall stores were open but customers were few and far between.
It was also a quiet start to the Black Friday sales for Cape Town shoppers at Canal Walk, who formed a short line before entering one of the stores.
Pleasure Masina, a store manager at one of the stores at Atlyn mall in Atteridgeville, Pretoria, was disappointed by the turnout. Masina said she was expecting a large number of people at the doors when they opened.
“We woke up early and got here at 6am so that we can open at 7am,” she said, adding they would close the store at 7pm.
“We are very disappointed because now it’s already 7am and there are no customers yet. We are hoping that they are still coming,” she said, as they needed to make sales to offset their costs. “Our budget is too high,” she said.
Voices calling out specials and staff ringing hand-held bells at the doors echoed through the Atlyn mall on Friday morning.
But there were no queues.
One shopper, Hellen Matlala, was disappointed to find her preferred store closed. “I woke up at 6am and arrived here at 7am. I was expecting to find it open because I am going to work at 8am, but it was closed,” she said.
Matlala said she would not be visiting other stores, because of her observance of Covid-19 protocols. “I was just here for one thing that I need, that’s it,” she said.
The view from within on #BlackFriday. Markedly different scenes than previous years. I even made a quick purchase (a lightbulb), something that would have been unthinkable and time consuming in the past. (@ssharim) pic.twitter.com/FhAAJLWrM0— Team News24 (@TeamNews24) November 27, 2020