#BlackFriday bargain hunters in Port Elizabeth who queued since early have had mixed reactions to one of the most anticipated sales of the year.
A relatively new concept in South Africa, Black Friday refers to the day following Thanksgiving Day in the US traditionally regarded as the beginning of the Christmas shopping season.
In Port Elizabeth, the parking lots at Metlife Mall Shopping Centre and Makro were already filling up by 7am.
Makro staff were seen leaving the Metlife Checkers with trolley-loads of groceries before they reported for duty across the road where a long queue was already forming outside the retail store.
Other customers also leaving Checkers were seen with cooldrinks, milk and toilet paper.
At Makro, Bethelsdorp husband and wife Allan and Charneil Maggott joined the queue at about 7.15am. Charneil, who is on maternity leave and Allan whose shift starts at 2pm, said they hoped to go home with at least three big ticket items.
“We are here for some entertainment stuff, the Xbox One,” Allan said.
Charneil said: “And for the Samsung 13kg washing machine and the Defy oven and top. We hope we get it. Fingers crossed. We are hoping to get in now, at 8am, so we should be done by 1pm [so Allan can go to work].”
While the queue grew steadily, others chose to bide their time in their cars, out of the heat.
At Greenacres Shopping Centre, Subeida and Farouk Hassen of Gelvandale were among the first shoppers at Greenacres at 5am.
“I was so excited I woke up at something to four, then I got up and finished my prayer I was so eager to go, it was like the first day of school,” she said.
By 6.30am an orderly queue of people at the Shoprite and OK Furniture entrance was already snaked almost to Ring Road.
Rodney and Eva Gouza said they had travelled in from Addo earlier this morning to snap up the Black Friday specials.
Senobia van Rooyen of Despatch who went to Baywest Mall’s Checkers said she had been there since 7am and was a bit overwhelmed.
“I’m standing in this aisle because it’s actually just too much for me. My sister is doing the shopping while I wait here. It’s too crazy. I didn’t expect it to be this crazy. The only thing that’s worth it is think is the toilet paper. It’s usually R90 but it’s 75 now for 18,” she said.
Zanele Dlanjwa Motherwell said she had been at Baywest since 6:30am.
“And I want it in bold letters that it’s not worth it. It’s a scam. Black Friday is a scam. I’m very disappointed. Nothing is really that much cheaper. I know they said up to 30% off but I have not even seen anything marked down that much. I’m not sure if I will come again next year,” she said.
Abongile Vanaqa of Timothy Valley was more upbeat.
“I didn’t like the crowd and the queues but I think it was worth it. The toilet paper was very cheap so we bought a lot of it. Baywest was definitely the best option because I saw pictures of other malls. Greenacres looked deurmekaar,” she said.