Slow start to Black Friday sale


Customers browsing through items at a shoe store in Gurney Paragon Mall. —Photos: ZHAFARAN NASIB/The Star

THE Black Friday sale got off to a slow start at malls in Penang, with only a few shoppers spotted browsing through stores.

Despite numerous advertisement boards promoting discounts and deals, some of which hung from ceilings while others placed at entrances and on glass walls, the stores were quiet and empty.

It was an ironic contrast to what was supposed to be a frenzied shopping activity.

Business owners, however, are not giving up just yet and hoping that business would pick up over the weekend.

With over 5,000 electrical appliances on discount at Harvey Norman in Gurney Paragon Mall, its store manager Dennis Yeoh said some deals are not to be missed.

“We have coffee machines on 50% discount. Those retailing at RM599 are now on sale at RM299.

“A roadshow is being held at the central concourse to promote additional items we have on sale, ” he said.

Yeoh added that similar deals are available on the company’s online store and customers may purchase with ease of mind.

Senior sales consultant S. Vigneswaran showing the coffee machine on sale at Harvey Norman.Senior sales consultant S. Vigneswaran showing the coffee machine on sale at Harvey Norman.

“We hope that business will pick up this weekend before the sale ends on Monday, ” he said.

At a jewellery store, its manager Hazirah Mohamed Hussain said it is offering the best offer so far this year.

“Items that are normally priced between RM13 and RM40 each are now on offer at RM30 for five of them.

“Larger accessories, normally priced between RM40 and RM80 each, are on discount at RM60 for two.

“We look forward to customers coming in at the last minute to grab the deals before Christmas, ” she said.

Shoe store owner M.K. Ooi said with the conditional movement control order in effect and people not travelling, not many customers are buying.

“We have to clear some shoes before the new season comes and some existing stock are on offer up to 70% discount.

“However with travel restrictions, many people are not looking for new shoes.

“This is a good time to buy new shoes ahead of coming festivals, ” he said.

The annual Black Friday shopping craze is a long-observed and beloved tradition in the United States.

Black Friday, the Friday after Thanksgiving Day, is widely considered to be the United States’ biggest shopping day of the year, with big slashes in prices of items.

Malaysian retailers are also cashing in on the trend in recent years, giving rebates to big ticket items and everyday necessities.

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