Shops were busier than on other days last Black Friday, but fewer people ventured out when compared to previous years, many retailers told Times of Malta.

“In previous years we would have queues outside, waiting to get in,” Daniel Camilleri, a sales assistant at clothes shop Superdry said.

However, as the shop extended its sales offers for the entire week fewer people shopped on Friday, he said.

A retail outlet manager whose store also extended sales throughout the week said this Black Friday had fewer sales this year.

This could be the result of less consumer spending power and worries about the future of the economy, she said.

“The weather also did not help,” she said.

Charles Caruana, senior manager of Solaris, a sunglasses chain, agreed, saying this year’s Black Friday sales were lower than in previous years.

Chamber of SMEs CEO Abigail Mamo told Times of Malta that clothes stores had a tough Black Friday.

'Lower budgets'

“The foot traffic was there, but people seem to have lower budgets than in previous years,” Mamo said.

“If people previously had €20 to spend, this time they had €15,” she said.

“High-end fashion retailers saw limited success but fast fashion stores had a stronger day,” Mamo said.

Retailers selling television sets, computers and phones did well Mamo said, adding sales were spread out across November as retailers had prepared offers ahead of the World Cup.

Retailers selling white goods, such as refrigerators, washing machines and other appliances, also did very well, Mamo noted.

Blerina Agari, who works at JB Stores, a home furnishing outlet, said Friday was very busy, particularly in the Sliema store.

Mostly people were buying Christmas decorations and home textiles such as duvets and towels, she said.

Like many other shops, Butlers, a retail chain selling home accessories, furniture, home decorations and gifts, hosted a ‘Black Week’ as opposed to a single sales day. 

Tsonio Tsonev, manager at Butlers, was pleasantly surprised with the week’s outcome.

Given that the shop tends to sell items which are not essential for daily life, he was expecting a lower turnover this Black Friday.

“We were expecting lower sales this year given the increased economic uncertainty, but sales turned out to mirror last year’s,” he said.

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