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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 
Kenyans cash in on e-shops Black Friday sales

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenyans love to shop, and they also love bargains as they seek to make the most out of their shopping experience.

Hundreds of items are up for grabs on the e-shops currently that have joined the rest of the world in offering Black Friday sales.

Mobile phones, TV sets, shoes, jackets, handbags, maize flour, tooth paste, margarine, cooking oil, dresses and furniture are among products that have been put on sale on the e-shops, some at more than half-prices.

And Kenyans are cashing in on the sales that have been running since the start of the month, but whose climax is Black Friday.

Black Friday, initially done only in the U.S. but has spread across the world, is regarded as the first day of the Christmas shopping season, on which retailers make special offers.

Following chatter on social media on Thursday, Susan Mutua, an insurance sales agent in the capital Nairobi, saw a number of citizens talking about the e-shops sales.

She visited one of the e-shops and could not believe her eyes when she saw that a 2kg packet of maize flour was going for 21 shillings (0.20 U.S. dollars), down from 0.89 dollars. A nice dress that goes for 34 dollars was selling at 17.6 dollars.

A visit to two other e-shops revealed even sweater and irresistible deals for the agent as a phone that she had wished to have was being sold at 147 dollars, down from 215 dollars.

“I went to my phone, transferred money from my bank account into my mobile money account and did shopping worth 205 dollars. I definitely bought the phone, flour, margarine, juice, cooking oil, a dress for myself and shoes for son,” she said.

Tens of other Kenyans have gone through a similar experience in the last few days as the e-shops namely Masoko, Jumia and Kilimall offer the Black Friday deals.

Competition has toughened among the three major e-shops in the east African nation, with each striving to offer irresistible deals. “Up to 85 percent drop in prices,” one e-shop announced in an online advert.

While across the world Black Friday promotion is only a day, in Kenya, the online shops sweetened deals for consumers by offering over three weeks’ shopping.

“This is a shopping season I usually wait with great interest because I have benefited from the bargains. Last year, I bought my flat-screen TV during the sale and this year, I have bought a microwave and a new phone,” said Vincent Matiku, a journalist in Nairobi.

On Thursday, college lecturer Ernest Manuyo bought a fridge from one of the online shops in a deal that lasted only 30 minutes.

“I was lucky that I opened one of the sites, saw the deal and I had money in my mobile money account. I bought the gadget and told a friend who tried but found the sale over,” he said.

Black Friday in the east African nation has now become one of the biggest pre-Christmas shopping seasons.

A survey by Picodi.com in Kenya shows that 48 percent of those who took part in it knew what Black Friday is.

The survey revealed that 30 percent of Kenyans will shop in the Black Friday sales this year, a rise from 10.5 percent in 2017.

Bernard Mwaso, a consultant with Edell IT Solution, said that among the things fuelling Black Friday sales in Kenya are booming mobile money services, widespread use of internet, adoption of smartphones, great bargains, convenience and free delivery especially in Nairobi.

“The e-shops are offering Kenyans just what they want, that is shopping and bargains, at their convenience and this is what is making Black Friday popular,” said Mwaso.

He noted that merchants are using the Black Friday sales to clear their stocks, some that may be out of season, ahead of the Christmas season, when shopping booms.

There are some 40 million internet users in Kenya and a similar number of mobile money subscribers, according to data from the Communication Authority of Kenya. 

           

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