This year's Black Friday is expected to be much stronger and more appealing to consumers than last year's Black Friday. Following the tepid and disappointing performance of 2021, market participants believe this is the case. In fact, last year was described as the institution's worst year in Cyprus, as it failed to maintain the success and level of sales recorded in 2018 and 2019. However, consumer interest is expected to return this year. The signs are positive, and the mood for shopping is up, thanks to the World Cup, which is being held for the first time this year in the middle of the winter season. "This factor is expected to have a significant impact on the sales of TV's. This is a top-selling product during sporting football events, let alone during the World Cup, which begins at the same time as Black Week sales begin. There is always a surge in TV sales during a World Cup. We're waiting to see if it happens again this year and how much sales will be bolstered as a result of this event," Marios Antoniou, secretary general of the Pancyprian Retail Trade Association, tells "K". Since the World Cup is being held concurrently with Black Friday sales, it is anticipated that in addition to making televisions once again one of the most popular Black Friday products, this year's World Cup will draw more customers to the stores and boost overall sales compared to the significantly lower levels of last year.
Of course, the level of promotion also influences sales levels, particularly in electronics and electrical goods stores. Last year, offer levels were insufficient to attract the volume of customers seen in previous years. According to Antoniou, this year's discounts will range from 20-40%, with anything over 40% being old stock or final items to sell out. Aside from that, he emphasizes that rising operating costs are squeezing store profitability and the opportunity for more enticing offers. The duration of the offers, on the other hand, is dependent on the available stock in each store, according to Nicosia Mall general manager George Georgiou. Those who are concerned about merchandise shortages will limit their offers to Black Friday only. Most stores will implement them 2-3 days before Black Friday, while some businesses will extend the duration of Black Friday offers for a longer period of time, resulting in the Black Week trend. However, promotional campaigns for stores have already begun much earlier.
Black Friday in Cyprus
In recent years, retailers have established the week preceding November's last Friday as an informal period of sales and offers. Since 2012, when Black Friday was first introduced in the Cypriot market, the institution has grown year after year (with the exception of 2021), with an increasing number of businesses (hotels, mobile phone companies, and airlines) making deals on products and services.
Televisions are consistently the best-selling products, followed by technology, tablets, gadgets, consoles, play stations, smartphones, and electrical appliances. Robotic vacuum cleaners, for example, topped the sales charts last year. Last year, despite a general drop in sales on event days, tech stores occasionally ran out of stock. Additionally, a limited number of units were recorded in gaming consoles.
Furthermore, as the vast majority of consumers in Cyprus prefer to shop in physical stores, online shopping during Black Friday (and more broadly) is slowly and steadily improving.
The institution's adoption in Cyprus managed to provide a significant boost to businesses and sales in November. This is considered a difficult month for retail because consumers' wallets are recharging after the summer holidays and preparing for Christmas shopping in December. November remains a relatively quiet month for retail, even in the institution's best-performing month (2019).
Cyber Monday and Single's Day
Promotional messages for Single's Day deals have started to surface over the past few days, albeit sparingly, especially in tech stores. Prior to Black Friday, it was a tactic used by businesses to pique consumer interest in shopping and reawaken market commercialism. Mr. Antoniou claims that Single's Day, which comes before Black Friday, and Cyber Monday, which comes after it, have not been well received by the market and are not anticipated to follow Black Friday's pace, which is customarily observed on the last Friday in November and essentially ushers in the holiday shopping season.
[This article is an excerpt from Kathimerini's Sunday edition and was translated from its Greek original]