Chamber proposes ‘Black Weekend’ to avoid Black Friday overcrowding

Miguela Xuereb

The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry is proposing extending the so-called Black Friday sales over four days this year in a bid to avoid overcrowding and the spread of Covid-19.

Black Friday is an informal name for the Friday following Thanksgiving Day in the US, which is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. It has long been regarded as the start of Christmas shopping and marked by highly-promoted sales there, a tradition that has since caught on in Malta.

“Black Friday is an important appointment in the retail business calendar as it provides businesses with an essential boost in an otherwise calm period,” the chair of the chamber’s importers, retailers and distributors economic group (IDREG) Marcel Mifsud said. “As circumstances stand, it is important that this year, all necessary precautions are put in place in order for Black Friday to be both a commercial success for businesses, but also a safe experience for everyone.”

The IDREG has reached out to a number of key retail operators and shopping malls in recent days, and the chamber reported that all agreed to its proposal for a “Black Wekeend” which would take place between the 26th and 29th of November.

The Malta Chamber emphasised that all mitigation procedures should continue to remain in place in all retail outlets, and observed that extending the running time of the long-anticipated event would minimise risk further.

“The Malta Chamber urges all retailers and customers alike to adhere to all prevailing regulations and ensure that this year’s Black Friday will act as a boost towards local retailers rather than a boost to the contagion,” it concluded.