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Black Friday madness

Multitudes swarm shopping centers

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FILE PIC: Multitudes throng shopping centers

Hundreds of determined shoppers have taken to the main shopping centres in Gaborone to take advantage of the Black Friday promotional sale prices offered by retailers.

Though popular in the U.S which is a day that comes after Thanksgiving, much closer to home, the Black Friday bug has caught up with the majority of retailers who are starting to embrace it, selling their goods and services at extremely low prices.

This phenomenon has also transformed consumers’ shopping habits ahead of the Christmas season in December.

Major centers across the capital city such as Airport Junction and Game City usually see increased traffic during this day as shoppers throng mostly Game stores and Checkers located in these shopping malls.

As shops open as early as 12 midnight, it usually becomes a nightmare in these shopping complexes as consumers scuffle to take advantage of the lower prices on offer.

Majority of retail stores have, through their social media pages, indicated that they will be slashing their product prices this Friday.

In order to maintain order, Airport Junction mall Building Supervisor, Iris Lejage, says last year they worked with the police for crowd control with people mostly going into Checkers store.

She expects the same to happen this year, noting that from last year’s experience, everything went well at the shopping complex.

Speaking to The Voice on Wednesday Police spokesperson, Near Bagali, stressed that the responsibility of security at shopping complexes lies with the owners.

“Of course the police will always be present when there is large movement but it’s important to note that the responsibility lies with mall owners in case they anticipate any stampede,” stressed Bagali, adding that as the police they are overstretched and therefore cannot be expected to spearhead the security of a shopping complex.

HISTORY
Despite it being a favourite day for consumers worldwide as goods are usually bought at a bargain, the day itself has a darker history.

The first use of the word Black Friday is said to be not associated in any way with a holiday, but a financial crisis, the crash of the U.S gold market to be specific.

There are several other theories behind the day, another linking the day to Thanksgiving.

It is believed that after an entire year of operating at a loss (in the red), stores would supposedly earn a profit (went into the black) on the day after Thanksgiving as they blew a lot of money on discounted merchandise.