Consumers queue outside stores for Black Friday deals

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Consumers were lining up outside malls and electronic goods stores in the hope of a Black Friday bargain deal.

Shoppers were attracted by ad campaigns of stores promising sales of up to 70% on products ranging from supermarket items to TVs and high-tech gadgets.

Black Friday, a tradition started in the USA which traditionally sees stores selling their products at very low prices, has caught on in Cyprus in recent years as more businesses look to increase pre-Christmas sales.

Marios Antoniou, General Secretary of the Cyprus Retail Trade Association, told Stockwatch that the average discount rate is higher compared to last year at 40% to 45%.

Antoniou noted that for the first time in Cyprus firms selling furniture are also joining in festivities with discounts reaching 60% in some cases. He said businesses are increasingly spending more and more on Black Friday campaigns.

Malls are expected to see a significant spike in visitors on Friday. Mall of Cyprus Marketing Manager George Pissis told the Financial Mirror that they expect to see a three-fold increase in the number of visitors as more stores will be joining the tradition.

He said Black Friday offers will not be confined to the day as some stores will extend their offer period until the following weekend.

Mall of Nicosia Marketing Manager Georgia Kakouli said they expect to see a 30% increase in traffic, with stores offering a minimum of 20% discounts.

Discounts at the My Mall Limassol start from 10% and in some cases reach a whopping 70%. Stores within the compound will be offering discounts on products ranging from shoes and clothing to electronics and homeware.

Kings Avenue Mall in Paphos will also be participating with discounts ranging between 20-50%.

Supermarkets have also announced sales on various products with the executive secretary of the Cyprus supermarket Association Andreas Hadziadamou noting that there will be a wide range of discounts on many products.

Hatziadamou notes that consumers are already aware on how to spot fake discounts.

Banks have also announced they are participating by offering to triple points earned on shopping paid with credit cards.

The Cyprus Retail Trade Association called on consumers to be careful and ask for clarifications regarding a store’s return policy and warranties given out for products sold during this one-off sale day.

Black Friday is the day after the Thanksgiving Day celebrated in the USA on the fourth Thursday of November, marking the start of the Christmas shopping season.

Although this period was introduced in 1952, the Black Friday tradition has only gained momentum in the past two decades, expanding beyond the US borders.

A popular interpretation of the term is that on that day the retailers’ bank accounts were in profit, so their balance sheets instead of being written in red, denoting loses, were marked with black ink.