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Economically beleaguered Zimbabwe companies opt to skip #BlackFriday

By , Sub Saharan Africa Business, Tech, News and Development Journalist
Zimbabwe , 26 Nov 2020

Tech companies are among numerous businesses in Zimbabwe which, due to COVID-19 lockdown pressure, are mostly abstaining from #BlackFriday promotional offerings this year - although financial services company, BancABC and other SMBs have grabbed the opportunity to push volumes through discounts.

COVID-19 has had a significant impact on Zimbabwe’s economy owing to reduced business activity during lockdown restrictions.

Analysts believe this has also reduced demand for tech services and devices.

Telecommunication service providers will not offer promotions for #BlackFriday and Cyber Monday.

Mobile phone company Econet Wireless’ spokesperson, Fungayi Mandiveyi, told ITWeb Africa this week that the company was not offering any #BlackFriday promotions.

“We are not doing a BlackFriday promotion. We launched our one and half month Christmas promotion last week which we believe will go a long way in bringing some festive cheer to our customers,” said Mandiveyi.

TelOne was not immediately available for comment, while Natalie Jabangwe, CEO of mobile money platform EcoCash said she was not “aware of” any #BlackFriday promotional offerings for the Fintech company for this year.

Telecel Zimbabwe and NetOne – the other mobile operators in Zimbabwe, had not outlined their plans for #BlackFriday by Thursday mid-morning.

However, despite the lukewarm response to Black Friday, #BlackFriday was top trending on Twitter in Zimbabwe on Thursday morning.

Some banks, including Ecobank, have pushed the uptake of their Fintech payment platforms such as bank cards to enable Zimbabweans to undertake online shopping during the #BlackFriday period.

However, locals took to social media to criticised large companies for not participating in the promotions, which is now entrenched in other regional countries such as South Africa and Botswana.

Farai Nyamupinga, business development manager for Runako Foods said: “Zimbabwe businesses are pretending as if they don't know this day (Black Friday). But they stand to lose out in terms of sales, it’s time to get rid of slow moving product lines and replace with new products for Xmas season.”

Zimbabwe Price Check, an online platform that compares Zimbabwean prices, criticised MultiChoice Zimbabwe for not offering a #BlackFriday promotional when its sister company in South Africa was offering additional freebies for the day.

“Just like most companies in Zimbabwe, DStv Zimbabwe is not offering any Black Friday deals. DStv South Africa is about $20 cheaper and yet they are getting perks (for Black Friday). No wonder people illegally subscribe to (the) SA packages,” wrote Zim Price Check in an analysis.

Lance Mambondiyani, managing director of financial services group BancABC confirmed that the bank was offering discount offerings on digital transaction fees of up to 100% in some cases.

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