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Black Friday sales strong

Shopper Robert Mazoyer [at left] with Newbolds owner Mark Heginbotham and his dad John. PHOTO/PAM GRAHAM

Retailer sells eight $3000 televisions
35 per cent of Kiwis shopping on Black Friday

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It’s a US thing but Masterton got into the swing of Black Friday sales on Friday.

By mid-afternoon Newbolds had sold eight 75-inch Samsung smart televisions on special at $2888. The televisions had been $5199 at various retailers back in May, according to a PriceSpy graph.

“It’s amazing,” said owner Mark Heginbotham. “It’s our second biggest day of trade for the year behind Boxing Day.

“We got into it for probably the last three years and it was really big last year.

“I have even had to dust off my mum and dad to come in and help.”

Customer Robert Mazoyer, 74, said he had read up about Black Friday but said he was a regular at the store anyway.

“I’m not shy of technology,” he said. “I’ve got tablets and mobiles in my bag.”

Lynn from Black Sheep Jewellery said they were busy all morning and she couldn’t take a lunch break until 3pm.

The carpark outside Uncle Bills was full at 9am and staff in shops on Queen Street said it was a particularly busy morning.

New Zealanders spent $219 million on Black Friday last year – about 30 per cent more than the Friday before it, according to Paymark.

Retail NZ spokesman Greg Harford said the figure was probably closer to $300m because Paymark captured about 80 per cent of Eftpos transactions and didn’t capture cash transactions.

It has been an American tradition for stores to hold big sales on the Friday after Thanskgiving, known as Black Friday, for several years.

Black Friday has routinely been the busiest shopping day of the year in the United States since 2005.

So many people went out to shop that it caused traffic accidents and sometimes even violence. The Philadelphia Police Department coined the phrase Black Friday to describe the mayhem surrounding the congestion of pedestrian and auto traffic in the downtown area.

“What’s driven it on to our shores is essentially the internet,” said Harford. “Kiwis are shopping online and are seeing these sales and that has led Kiwi retailers to respond.”

He said retailers in places like Masterton were as keen as anyone else to take part.

“The regions are certainly participating as much as the big cities in Black Friday and to a lesser extent Cyber Monday,” he said.

Cyber Monday was traditionally the day for shopping online but the two merged as an event in recent years and some retailers also had early events.

Black Friday came to New Zealand about five years ago and really took off in the past two years to the point that it was challenging Boxing Day as a big shopping day, Harford said.

“It is a great opportunity for people to start or finish their Christmas shopping, but it is not just about Christmas presents as people shop for big items on Black Friday.”

A survey by price comparison website PriceSpy showed 35 per cent of Kiwis intended to buy something on Friday – and most of them were looking to spend up to $300.

Also, 53 per cent intended to shop in-store, compared with 47 per cent who said they would shop online.

The Warehouse was listed as the most popular place to shop on Black Friday, with online giant Amazon second. JB Hi-Fi and Farmers were also popular destinations.

Computing and IT retailer PB Tech held its Black Friday sale last weekend, where more than $7 million was spent in just five hours, Newshub reported.

New Zealand Post is preparing for what is expected to be one of the busiest weeks of the year, after Black Friday online sales.

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