The magic of Black Friday seems to have dimmed in Cyprus, leaving consumers disappointed yet again due to lacklustre discount campaigns by stores.
Marios Drousiotis, the head of the Cyprus Consumers Association, shared his concerns about the declining attractiveness of this shopping phenomenon in an interview with the Financial Mirror.
Drousiotis acknowledged the financial strain on consumer wallets caused by the cost of living and global uncertainties arising from conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza.
Despite these challenges, a noticeable trend is emerging, revealing Cypriots’ growing indifference towards the Black Friday institution.
Speaking from a bustling mall in the capital at noon, Drousiotis lamented, “Black Friday is apparently losing its cool factor with every passing year.”
“It’s just not been picked up by Cypriot consumers, and the only ones to blame for that are businesses themselves.
“Part of me feels sorry for them,” said Drousiotis.
“Stores do not treat consumers well.
“The prices they offer are not what consumers expected for a Black Friday campaign.
“The sales are the same as other sales periods, so they are simply not attractive.”
He recalled that in other countries, Black Friday campaigns have discounts well above 50% of the normal price.
A quick look at the market reveals that some shops have discounts of up to 60% for a small number of selected items.
Some clothes and shoe stores have discounts of just 8%.
“We also had complaints from consumers reporting that they would pick up an item at a fairly discounted price from a shelf, and by the time they reached the cashier, the discount had vanished into thin air,” said Drousiotis.
His message to consumers was: “If you don’t need a product, don’t buy it, and of course, the interested parties should look at the final price, compared to the previous one”.
Marios Antoniou, the general secretary of the Cyprus Retailers Association, appeared to be disappointed by the turnout.
“So far, it’s been a normal Friday.
“We hope to see things pick up later in the day, but we’re not getting our hopes up,” said Antoniou.
He said the market has been slow in recent months due to global uncertainties from the conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza.
Unseasonal warm weather also cramps 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”.
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”.
“We are not going to hide.
“Unfortunately, we have also recorded some bad practices by a small number of our members, which have put off consumers from heading to stores on Black Friday”.