In an effort to boost sales, retailers hit by coronavirus measures will prolong Black Friday discounts for a week while promoting online purchases.
In comments to website Stockwatch, chairman of the Cyprus Retail Association Marios Antoniou said: “This year’s Black Friday sales will be nothing like other years, due to the coronavirus outbreak”.
“As an association, we are placing our money on online offers, from which consumers can benefit in the safety of their home.”
Antoniou noted that businesses which have online platforms have invested in upgrading them, making them more consumer-friendly.
“We focused on promoting e-shopping, especially when it comes to electronic devices and electronic technology products because one can easily place an order through the internet.
“A building trend is observed among younger generations and people who have lived or studied abroad where online shopping is more common”.
According to Antoniou, although the percentage of e-commerce compared to the total of retail sales has been growing in recent years, the total turnover of e-purchases is very limited.
He did say, however, that due to the coronavirus crisis, in the food category turnover from e-shopping has risen 7% to 8% of the total from a previous 3% to 4%.
“However, after the easing of the measures, it returned to lower levels, but nevertheless, e-shopping is here to stay.”
Antoniou said that retailers will be trying to create a festive atmosphere at their premises, in a bid to get people to visit their establishments, “but always abiding to health protocols”.
As a result of measures introduced by authorities to stem the spread of COVID-19, which includes a local lockdown for Limassol and Paphos, shops in My Mall Limassol and Kings Avenue Mall Paphos, will not be able to open for Black Friday.
The lockdown ends on Monday 30 November with Malls affected expected to transfer sales for the coming week, while malls allowed to operate have already decided to extent Black Friday sales by a week.
The marketing manager of The Mall of Cyprus and The Mall of Engomi, Giorgos Pissis, said that retailers will be having a Black Week of sales with “offers up to 70% depending on the type of goods with sales commencing on Monday and lasting until Sunday”.
Pissis said that business has been gravely affected by the coronavirus outbreak and interventions imposed.
“When the number of daily new cases is stable, we see an increase in sales. But when cases go up, our turnover goes down as people are psychologically affected”.
He added that retailers’ turnover so far has dropped by 30% compared to the same period last year.
Nicosia Mall’s general director George Georgiou said his mall will be also celebrating its second year of operations by handing out gifts to consumers during the Black Friday week.
Georgiou argued that malls have been wrongfully targeted, “because despite what every expert is saying, malls have the ability and budget to implement all the protocols, making them safer than shops in city centres”.
Source: Financial Mirror