SCORES of shoppers in Bulawayo who had thronged various shopping outlets in the city hoping to buy discounted products on Black Friday were left disappointed after shops maintained their owners only slightly adjusted their prices.
Black Friday is a yearly global shopping event enjoyed on the last Friday of November.
During the day, businesses offer massive discounts for their goods.
As early as 6am, long queues of shoppers had already formed at most shops anticipating “cheap” products as had been advertised during the week.
“Evening valued customers. Kindly note tomorrow doors will be opening at 6am.Queue numbers will be issued as early as 5:30am. Forms of payment valid for tomorrow will be all types of forex, swipe, ZWL ,Ecocash, Credit accounts,” reads part of a Whatapp message send to clients by Edgars, one of leading clothing outlets.
A survey carried out by Newzimbabwe.com in the city however revealed that most shops and hardware were offering insignificant discounts to customers.
“I arrived here around 6 am hoping to buy discounted building material but I was shocked to discover that the prices have been slightly adjusted. I was hoping that the prices were going to be slashed by at 50 %,” said Gilbert Manyara of Paddonhurst.
Another shopper said she is also disappointed that she failed to benefit from the event because the prices were very high.
“I come here early in the morning hoping to get massive discounts of up to 40 or 50 % like what happened last year. I wanted to buy Christmas clothes for my family, but the clothes are still not affordable,” said the shopper.
Some shops were only offering discounts only on luxuries like deodorants and alcohol.
A lady attendant at one clothing shop said this year staff had been instructed by management to charge very minimal cost managing prices.
“As you are aware, COVID-19 has made it difficult for us to do significant business. We have been making losses throughout the COVID -19 lockdowns and any price reductions will have worsened our plight,” said the shop attendant who refused to be named.