Every year between November and January, South Africa experiences a massive spike in retail sales. The calendar year end, when bonuses and 13th cheques are paid, coincides with long summer holidays and Christmas festivities for those who celebrate it. The new academic year begins in January, and learners must be equipped with uniform, shoes and other accessories associated with back to school.
Black Friday, which as recently as 5 years ago meant nothing to South Africans, has now made its own mark on our retail landscape. In 2018, 66% of South Africans are expected to spend an average of R1 600 on Black Friday bargains. According to one credit card company, sales of toys, clothing and electronic goods rise by as much as 51% overall during this short 3-month period. Homeware accounts for a 41% increase and groceries 40%.
This equates to billions of Rands of spending, which if harnessed for buying locally produced and manufactured goods, can represent many jobs retained and even jobs created.
To this end, Proudly South African launches its Festive Season Campaign in the middle of November every year in the hope that the message of buying local will resonate with shoppers. As long as we buy imported goods, we are exporting jobs and not helping reduce unemployment figures which currently sit at 27.5%.
The best gift we could give millions of South Africans this Christmas is literally a job. If South Africans channel their seasonal spend to products and services Made in South Africa, we might be able to make that a reality for some.
We attended the media launch at Tsogo Sun’s 54 on Bath in Rosebank last week where Proudly SA was joined by friends and supporters of the campaign, including SABC radio personalities Selby ‘Selboyonce’ Mkhize and Rams Mabote, TV stars Tumisho Masha, Moliehi Didie Makobane, Talitha Ndima and social media sensation Dimpie Dimpopo. A champagne brunch was served, Proudly SA TShirts were worn, photos were taken, and social media was captured.