Black Friday seems to be losing its sparkle in Cyprus, with consumer wallets feeling the pinch from the cost of living and global uncertainties from the conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza, according to business representatives.
Stephanos Koursaris, the general secretary of the Professional Crafts and Shopkeepers POVEK, told the news site Stockwatch that small businesses are concerned over the drop in the institution’s attractiveness.
Koursaris said ongoing wars, especially in Israel, are making consumers tighten their purse strings.
“Despite some government relief measures, people are still playing it safe and focusing on the basics, like groceries,” said Koursaris.
He assured that stores are rolling out some tempting sales, with clothing and shoe shops expected to shine brighter in this gloomy retail climate.
As Koursaris said, they’ve dodged the price-hike bullet that has hit other industries.
He explained that the clothing and shoe industry had not been affected as much as other sectors, from fuel, electricity, and raw materials increases.
Koursaris noted that shopkeepers are holding on to their horses with Black Friday ads this year.
However, he insisted the tradition shouldn’t be tossed out the window.
He said that Black Friday sales show businesses how the market will groove during the festive season.
Asked if the shopkeepers can offer low prices amid the prevailing economic uncertainty, Koursaris added that many businesses are facing liquidity troubles, and they’re slashing profits to stay afloat.
Marios Antoniou, the general secretary of the Cyprus Retailers Association, believes unseasonal weather is cramping consumer style.
“Warm weather means people aren’t exactly rushing to buy cosy winter gear, adding to the market’s chill we have been witnessing in recent months,” said Antoniou.
He said businesses were unhappy about this year’s Black Friday date, falling on 24 November.
“Falling a whole week before payday for many, it’s not the most wallet-friendly timing”.
Virginia Christou, representing the Cyprus Consumers’ Association, also agreed that “Black Friday is apparently losing its cool factor”.
She blamed the lack of rules on sales periods, pointing out that businesses run discounts year-round.
“Store rushes on Black Friday is just not a thing in Cyprus anymore.”
Christou warned shoppers to keep their guard up.
Discounts might not be as generous as they seem, hovering around 20% and nowhere near the crazy deals abroad.
“Last year, the association got around 55 complaints on Black Friday, mostly about tricky advertising and double labelling,” said Christou.
She added that the association is gearing up for checks during the sales period.
They will compare advertised prices to the real deal on the shelves.