Egypt’s White Friday: more discounts, less buyers

This year’s White Friday seems to be attracting fewer shoppers. White Friday is an annual shopping event, where shops offer discounts on a wide range of products.

It runs this year from November 22-25. Well-known international brands have offered discounts up to 50 percent, while others offered 25 percent. Despite the sale, prices were still high to some customers.

“Shops are not very crowded like last year,” said Aya Nabil, who went to buy a new Jacket from one of Cairo’s malls. She told Egypt Today that more visitors went to famous international brands as these large stores offered big discounts comparing to smaller shops.

She said that some of these brands offered a 50 percent discount on all of their products, while others offered discounts ranging between 10-25 percent.

Despite the significant sale, prices were still high and unaffordable for many customers because prices before the discounts were already very high. The surge in prices came on the back of the flotation of the Egyptian Pound late last year, which halved the value of the pound and therefore pushed prices across the board.

Inflation peaked to a record high in July, reaching 33 percent, but it started to drop slightly afterwards, standing at 31.8 percent in October.

Shopper Nesma Ali, who went shopping in El-Mohandeseen neighborhood, said shops were crowded but prices were high and some of the products were not in a good condition.

Online shopping companies also had their own list of discounts. The Amazon-affiliated online shopping platform Souq.com offered sale on various products, including mobile phones and tablets up to 60 percent, watches (70%), eye wear (70%), laptops and computers (60%), home appliances (40%) and shirts and under wear (60%).

Member of the Cairo Chamber of Commerce Hamdy Abul-Einein told Egypt today that there was no comparison between the number of shoppers this year and last year.

He attributed the decrease in the number of visitors this year to what he called “Egyptians’ new priorities”, which are food and basic needs. “Despite the discounts are high, prices are still unaffordable,’’ Abul-Einein said, adding that people are delaying the purchase of the non-basic things.

Another reason that could have contributed to the drop in the number of visitors, according to Abul-Einein, is the terrorist attack that took place on Friday on a mosque in North Sinai, killing 305 people. “The explosion of Al-Rawda mosque in North Sinai was catastrophic for all Egyptians,” he said. Source: Egypt today

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