Last Updated on Thursday, 24 November, 2022 at 9:25 am by Andre Camilleri
A good turnout from the Black Friday sales is expected this year, with the Chamber of SMEs anticipating that figures will reach pre-pandemic levels.
The Malta Business Weekly spoke with CEO at the Chamber of SMEs Abigail Agius Mamo, who said that Black Friday (tomorrow) this year is an important one, expecting to see the same success of pre-Covid-19 years.
“We have seen that consumption by consumers throughout the year of 2022 was at a very good level, and at this stage we are not seeing any reason why this would change,” Agius Mamo said.
When asked about the impact of inflation on prices, Agius Mamo said that any concerns with regards to inflation would, surprisingly most likely translate into a positive manner as consumers would have the opportunity of buying things cheaper.
Agius Mamo said that it would have been a different story if consumption throughout the year fell behind.
“The Covid-19 recovery period is quite a subjective topic which varies. 2018 and 2019 were extraordinary years but we are seeing that Malta is very much approaching levels of pre-pandemic times,” she said.
Asked about the upcoming Christmas period, Agius Mamo said that the same argument applies, as consumption was very good throughout the year.
Agius Mamo also said that an important element which contributed to the high consumption this year was how convenient shopping became in Malta. She said that local businesses have been thriving more than ever, having acquired a competitive edge given complicated and costly importation costs.
“Local businesses have upped their game in service and convenience, nowadays one can buy anything online and it has become the norm. Importation costs are expensive, complicated, and take long,” Agius Mamo said.
Agius Mamo said that buying online from other countries has decreased due to importation fees, mentioning the United Kingdom as an example, where Brexit significantly impacted the consumer, who has had to suffer custom fees and stopped benefiting from consumer law.
She added that it has become easier to exchange or return items which are not up to the consumer’s satisfaction, increasing efficiency.
Buying local has become more popular in recent times, as businesses have been thriving both in the context of how things evolved, referring to efficiency of online shopping, as well as the effort being done throughout the pandemic recovery, which is still ongoing, she explained.
Last year, the Chamber of SMEs had, in light of the pandemic, and also to increase customer convenience, included details on several businesses in relation to opening hours, offers available online and delivery service, to further attract customers.
The SME Chamber had also encouraged customers to make the most out of Black Friday offers and shop local, to spend less on delivery expenses and avoid the necessary delays involved when shopping from abroad. Shopping local would also provide support towards local businesses, it had said.