Black Friday sales reflected stay-at-home trends this year, as fashion wear fell right out of favour but electronics sold as well if not better than in 2019. 

Across clothing retailers, some shops saw a drop of up to 50 per cent in business compared to  Black Friday last year,  Abigail Mamo, president of the Chamber of SMEs, told Times of Malta. Others managed to keep the decline to around 15 to 20 per cent, Mamo said. 

Electronics shops, however, reported sales more or less in line with previous levels, with some seeing an even better take than last year.  

The worst-hit were shops that specialise in elegant or occasion wear, which typically see a boost in business for the Christmas season. This time, there was no uptick in sales.  

“Unfortunately, given the present situation and restrictions on gatherings and events typically associated with the Christmas season, consumers didn’t really see the need to go for these kinds of products,” Mamo said.  

Sales were mostly in line with what retailers were expecting this year, the Chamber said. Photo: Matthew MirabelliSales were mostly in line with what retailers were expecting this year, the Chamber said. Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

“Home electronics, as expected, was the sector that did best this Black Friday. We are seeing a trend of people staying at home more frequently, so consumers are in turn investing more in products or entertainment for their homes.” 

She noted, however, that largely sales were in line with what retailers were expecting given the situation. 

“Given that it’s a COVID year, I would say most were expecting to see less business and to a certain extent they have met those expectations,” she said.  

Many outlets spread their offers out of a number of days and got the sales that way. 

Shoppers spent money on products for their homes, but did not splash out on elegant wear. Photo: Matthew MirabelliShoppers spent money on products for their homes, but did not splash out on elegant wear. Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

While sensitive to those who did not see the business they had wished for this Black Friday, it was a very good business day for others, Mamo added. 

“We have seen big losses across the board and these will need to be recovered over a normal year, not a COVID year. But it did give businesses a boost... not just in sales but also in morale,” she said.

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