It was only a matter of time. Take a nation full of shopaholics and retailers desperate to shift stock in a slowing economy and what do you get? Black Friday. (en el pais de la izquierda de Lula y Dilma se matan por las gangas!)
Brazilians have toyed with the US tradition for a couple of years now and even neighbouring Paraguay has proved to be a fan.
However, this year Black Friday in Brazil came with a bang.
Hundreds of Brazil’s biggest shops offered huge discounts, national newspapers wee plastered with deals, the country’s biggest airline reduced prices by up to 90 per cent, and “Black Friday” was trending all day on Twitter as the frenzy spread.
By lunchtime on Friday internet sales in Brazil were already up 200 per cent from normal levels, according to Brazil’s Braspag consultancy.
And it’s easy to understand why Brazil’s retailers are so keen to follow in the footsteps of the US this year. The country’s economy has actually been growing little faster than the US over the past few quarters and lingering concerns about rising defaults have got companies worried.
What better way then to boost sales and keep yourself “in the black” (or “in the blue” as the phrase goes in Portuguese) than Black Friday? However, judging by comments from unhappy customers late on Friday perhaps “Blue Friday” might have actually been a better way to describe the day’s sad turn of events.
After the early morning excitement, many shoppers began to realise that prices weren’t that low after all. In fact, in some cases, they were exactly the same as before.
Take the ipad 2, for example. It was being offered in a special Black Friday sale for R$1099 ($526) – a bargain by Brazilian standards but still over 40 per cent more expensive than the standard price on Apple’s US website.
Even Black Friday couldn’t compensate for the pile of taxes and import duties that make Brazil so painfully expensive, it seems.
In some cases, retailers were also accused by Brazil’s consumer protection agency of putting up prices this week in order to announce discounts on Friday.
As one Twitter user eloquently put it: “Black Friday in Brazil – everything for half of twice the price!”\