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Christmas comes early to Maseru



Maseru – With prices knocked down, hundreds of customers made a beeline for the shelves as Christmas came early for Maseru residents.
A shopping frenzy hit Maseru’s only two shopping malls as people took full advantage of Black Friday, a day when shops strike the zeroes off prices of goods often out of reach for many.

Black Friday, which has roots in the United States’ Thanksgiving holiday observed before Christmas, came to Maseru last week and it was a shopping day to remember. With prices slashed by half in big retail shops to mark the day, few dared miss the chance to stock up for Christmas as well as buy household furniture they had been yearning for all year long.

Queues snaked for kilometres early in the morning at Maseru Mall and Pioneer Mall and there was pandemonium when shops opened their doors.
Some grabbed items as quickly as they could, fearing stocks would run out. Others went for bigger items such as electronic household goods.
“I have them now. I wish this can happen more often. It really can help us,” exclaimed one customer.

Used to window shopping most of the time, some customers told thepost that they woke up at dawn to hold spots at their favorite shops.
Retailers said they spent the whole year planning their Black Friday sales.
One customer at Game said she was ecstatic because she finally managed to buy a fridge she had always craved for but could not afford.
She said she went to Game earlier this month to see the fridge but returned home empty handed because her wallet was too thin for the item.
Then she heard Black Friday was coming and her prayers were answered.
“The fridge was M2 500 but now it is only M2 000, and a television is M5 000. Before the Black Friday it was M8 000 and I could not afford it,” she said, all smiles.

The elderly were not left out of the frenzy.
’Majoshua Setipa, a 73-year-old, said she used the opportunity to buy items for her grandchildren.
“It is good for me because I can now buy things I cannot afford on normal business days,” Setipa said.
“I can buy more than I always do,” she said.

Setipa was pushing a trolley laden with groceries which she said she bought for M1 200.
“I have saved a lot,” she said.
“I am staying with three grandchildren. I use M2 500 every month to buy the same goods but today I only used M1 200 for the same stuff,” Setipa said.
“I am happy that our shops have offered this huge discount. This is a chance for everyone to buy something that they have been willing to buy, but unable to due to high costs,” she added.

Now she hopes Black Fridays can come more often.
“This should happen every month or twice a year,” she said.

Shop managers say they cannot afford too many Black Fridays. A manager at Pick ’N Pay who declined to be named said Black Friday is hardly a profitable day for shops. “This is a way of saying thank you to our lovely customers. We have no other means of showing gratitude to them,” he said.

Thooe Ramolibeli

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