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Feature: Black Friday Disappoints Many in Malta

Many retailers were unhappy with their sales this Black Friday, blaming the customers’ lack of disposable income, the lousy weather and even roadworks for their dismal sales.

The Malta Chamber for Small and Medium Businesses reported similar feedback from its members, saying some businesses had reported very positive results while others reported a decrease in sales compared to last year.

It said sectors most commonly associated with Black Friday such as electronics and appliances reported the best results on Black Friday, with most of them promoting offers throughout November.

Offers extended over the month of November worked positively both for customers and businesses, the Malta chamber said.

However, Black Friday’s performance also depended on locations, as some locations were affected badly, especially those localities with large infrastructure projects still going in full swing such as Mosta.

The inclement weather was another factor that impacted customer footfall and sales in certain localities. Shopping malls across Malta and Gozo reported positive results throughout the day, with strong footfall from early hours.

The Malta Chamber of SMEs said that despite the “mixed bag of results,” Black Friday again showed that it was one of the most important periods for business throughout the year.

“I had this feeling that we won’t sell that much this year because sales have been on the decrease since the beginning of the year. It’s been one of my worst years since I opened the business 10 years ago,” said retailer Joseph Sacco, who owns two clothes shops.

“We had big discounts on some of the latest fashion but it’s pretty useless having good discounts and great prices if the shop was practically empty most of the day on Friday. Saturday was a bit better and Sunday morning was good too but it’s nowhere close to the sales we had registered last year and the year before,” he added.

Karl Brincat, who sells electronics from his shop in Msida, a central town, said he was so busy he had to call in his relatives to help around the shop. “There were so many people I could not even catch up. With electronics, you need to help customers, explain certain details, and answer any questions they have. It was pretty hectic, I can assure you.”

He said he’s had offers since the beginning of the month, but his Black Friday extended throughout the weekend. “I’m quite satisfied with the sales. I can’t complain,” he said.

Another shop owner who has a retail outlet in Mosta, where heavy infrastructural works to turn it into a pedestrianized zone at the weekend has been under way for months, said customers opted to stay away from his town this Black Friday.

“It’s a mess here. You can hardly expect anyone to come shopping in dust and mud,” the man, who insisted on not having his name published, told Xinhua.

Sharon Tanti said she and her boyfriend braved the weather to get most of their Christmas presents ticked off the list. “Most of my Christmas shopping is done and at fantastic prices. I always look forward to Black Friday because the deals are great,” she said.

Another customer, John Pace, told Xinhua he did not purchase anything this Black Friday because his family’s financial situation was not a rosy one.

“I’ve got lots of bills that I still need to pay. My salary and that of my wife is not enough for us to get through to the end of the month so it’s all extra,” he said. 




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