Q24N (Efe) Striking posters with offers of up to 70% on selected merchandise, visitors in shopping centers but few shoppers in stores marked this Black Friday in Central America, where some restrictive measures are still in place due to the pandemic.
“There are always people who buy, just not in such quantity, but there is always someone,” the salesperson of a cell phone store in Albrook Mall, the largest shopping center in Panama, located in the capital, told Efe.
In the corridors of Albrook Mall there were people walking, with their masks on as a preventive measure against covid, but in the stores there were not many buyers, a very different image from other years, in which even an operation of transit before the massive attendance to the malls.
Panama is experiencing an acute economic crisis derived from the covid pandemic, with unemployment currently hovering around 14.5% after having reached 18.5% in 2020.
Jonathan Ems, a foreigner living in Ecuador, told Efe that he came to Panama with his family to do some shopping because in the Andean country “it is very expensive.”
Panama is a shopping destination for many residents of Central and South American countries. That is why for 5 years in October it has been celebrating the so-called “Panama Black Week”, a week of super commercial offers.
In Costa Rica, the day passed without a major influx of people to the shops, but it is expected that sales will heat up on the weekend since in this country most stores implement a “black weekend” and even a ” black November” with promotions that go beyond just one day.
The pandemic has also forced stores to adapt and make online sales one of their strengths. Traders have said they expect sales to exceed 2020, although they do not expect it to be higher than previous years.
In Nicaragua, only the large chains exhibited offers in shopping centers, where there were people walking and buyers with the odd bag, while in popular markets the attendance was the usual, as Efe found.
Black Friday or Black Friday does not have a wide impact on the commercial plane in El Salvador, where Efe found a good influx of people walking through the corridors of shopping centers but not in stores, nor in Guatemala.
A Black Friday before the elections in Honduras
In Honduras, large shopping centers have posted sales posters in their windows, but sales have been “low,” as the salesperson of an electrical appliance store told Efe.
In Tegucigalpa, according to Efe, some supermarkets register long lines and customers crowd in stores with the aim of making a purchase higher than normal to fill the pantry, due in part, according to various sources, to the electoral uncertainty that they are experiencing the country two days before the general elections on Sunday.
“It is better to be prepared, we do not know what will happen after Sunday’s elections,” Carmen Salinas, who made a long line to enter a supermarket south of the Honduran capital, told Efe.
In Sunday’s elections, more than 5 million Hondurans are summoned to the polls to elect the successor to Juan Orlando Hernández, who was re-elected in the 2017 elections, in which the opposition alleges that there was “fraud.”