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FNB predicts a shift in popular spending categories on Black Friday due to Covid-19

As one of the biggest shopping sprees, Black Friday represents a time for consumers to buy items at great deals and each year, there’s a trend of spend categories that are popular to consumers. Last year, travel and entertainment were some of the popular spend categories leading up to and during Black Friday as people booked flights and holidays for festive season.

However,  this year FNB predicts a shift in popular spend categories as spend patterns have been markedly different since March 2020. The shift is potentially due to lockdown restrictions and new consumer habits associated with adapting to the new normal in light of Covid-19.

CEO of FNB Card, Chris Labuschagne says, “Our insights show that spend on digital and technology, groceries and home improvement products has been consistently high since the start of lockdown in March this year.  We expect this to continue into Black Friday due to persisting restrictions aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19. While consumer spend on travel and entertainment has been rising post the hard lockdown, it is unlikely to equate to levels we’ve seen in previous Black Fridays.”

Year-on-year spend on digital and technology among FNB card holders peaked at 39% between August and September this year as people had to find more efficient tools while working from home. Grocery spend increased by over 100% year-on-year at the end of March while home improvement spend increased 23% in the same period as families were making renovations to their living spaces to accommodate the new normal.

Adversely,  popular spend categories have shown a decline with travel dropping by 93% by end of March. By end of April 2020, spend on entertainment was down by 90% year-on-year, however there has been some improvement as lockdown restrictions were relaxed.

“Black Friday can be worthwhile for people who plan their purchases ahead of time and some of the discounts can be meaningful in helping customers save on items of high value. However, it is important for consumers to remember that the festive season is very long and as such, it is crucial to manage budgets by avoiding excessive spending. We encourage our customers to consider using their eBucks when shopping to minimise out of pocket expenses. Our customers can also accessour Nav>> Smart Budgeting functionality on the FNB App to manage, set up and track their budgets. Furthermore, consumers must always be vigilant when shopping online or at a physical point of sale,” concludes Labuschagne.