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‘White Friday’ sales bring some much-needed relief to retailers


The Jordan Times


AMMAN — Consumer demand during “White Friday” has increased between 20 and 30 per cent, with the highest demand being recorded in malls and for brands in popular and smaller shops, according to a sector representative.
Arab countries prefer to describe the last Friday in November as White Friday, as opposed to Black Friday, according to the Jordan Chamber of Commerce.
 “The idea of setting a certain time of the year for sales, such as this week, and then have things return to their normal pricing again, has proven to be very beneficial for all,” Jordan’s Textile and Readymade Clothes Syndicate President Muneer Deyeh told The Jordan Times on Sunday over the phone.
Dayeh also said that “people enjoyed various deals on clothes, footwear and on other wares like electronics and gadgets, which helped create movement in the market until Monday morning”.
He expressed hopes that market movement would remain on the same level once the sales week is over, noting that this would help merchants recover from the losses they have suffered throughout the coronavirus crisis, as they now “gravely” need liquidity to meet their financial dues, notably paying salaries, shop rents and other obligations and bills.
The sales week in Jordan started on Saturday, November 21, and was supposed to end on November 26, Deyeh said, noting that it was then extended until November 30.
The decision to extend the sales week was meant to give people who have just received their salaries, both in the public and private sectors, the opportunity to benefit from the available offers and discounts, he added.
In regard to the comprehensive lockdown imposed on Fridays, Deyeh said it impacted the sector significantly, as the highest demand and sales were witnessed on November 21, 26 and 28 (Saturday, Thursday and Saturday), noticeably weekend days, which indicates that having Friday available would have helped increase sales even more.
“Around 35 per cent of a week’s sales used to be on Fridays, and merchants depend a lot on it, so we hope the government quickly reconsiders the matter of this lockdown, allowing merchants to benefit from the Fridays that are left until the end of the year,” Deyeh noted.
“Retailers have bought JD150 million worth of wares and they need to sell them as soon as possible, because every previous season this year from Eid Al Fitr to Eid Al Adha and the school season, among others, were negatively affected by the pandemic,” the syndicate president concluded.
In mid-November, Asaad Qawasmi, a representative of the clothing, footwear and jewellery sectors at the Jordan Chamber of Commerce, told The Jordan Times that even as winter draws nearer, the demand for warm clothing and footwear remains limited due to partial and comprehensive lockdowns and curfews in the Kingdom.
At the time, Qawasmi said that retailers in the sector have seen a “very significant drop in revenues”, as sales fell by 70 per cent in this period compared with last year.
The clothing and footwear industry comprises approximately 11,000 stores across the Kingdom and employs around 55,000 workers of which 93 per cent are Jordanians, covering about 60 per cent of stores in the major commercial centres.
Ahmad Waleed, owner of a clothing shop in Zarqa, said that, while sales have gone well this week compared with earlier seasons this year, there is still a lot of stock to be sold until merchants meet their financial dues.
“Most of us need employees to help them in the shop, and we pay bills and rent, and we paid a lot to import a lot of the winter stock we have, so we hope that by the end of this year we will have sold enough to make up for the losses we suffered this entire year due to the crisis,” Waleed noted.

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