Sign of the times: Food and travel sector sales grow over Black Friday

  • In the face of rising inflation and other issues, South Africans flocked to sales on food and travel.
  • The travel and accommodation sector saw sales increase by 341 percent according to data tracked by Peach Payments.
  • The biggest transaction tracked by Peach Payments over Black Friday and Cyber Monday was R156 757 and R440 000 respectively

To paraphrase Charles Dickens, in South Africa it tends to feel like the worst of times and the worst of times. With loadshedding on a steady march toward more frequent power cuts and the economy in shambles, locals are trying their best to make ends meet.

Where once Black Friday was a day where folks could search for discounts on luxury goods, Black Friday 2023 saw shoppers looking for good deals on food.

This is according to payment platform Peach Payments which noted a 57 percent increase in number of transactions and the value spent on food and beverages on Black Friday. The travel and accommodation sector, however, saw a 341 percent increase in the Rand value spent compared to 2022.

“These figures make sense within the broader South African context as families try to manage their expenses in the face of rising food inflation and interest rates,” says head of enterprise sales at Peach Payments, Glenda Steyn. “But they also hope to be able to go away for a break, which the specials on Black Friday and Cyber Monday make possible.”

The biggest transactions tracked by Peach Payments over Black Friday and Cyber Monday were R385 381 and R440 000 respectively. In comparison, the largest transaction in 2022 for both days was R100 828 on Black Friday and R132 600 on Cyber Monday. These massive transactions were in the travel and accommodation sector.

“Despite the economic pressures, the sheer volume of online payments South Africa’s economy supports is impressive. As the country’s second largest online payment platform, over the four-day weekend we processed more than 1.1 million transactions, to a total value of more than R872 million,” Steyn added.

Interestingly, the retail sector only saw growth of 52 percent over this Black Friday.

One has to wonder how far the economy has sank when shoppers aren’t looking to save money on luxury purchases but everyday items like food. While this makes sense given that inflation has only become higher over the months, it’s rather depressing and something has to break eventually.

UPDATE: Peach Payments has issued a correction stating that the largest payment it tracked on Black Friday was R385 381, not R156 757.


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