Israelis in 2021 continued to increase their rate of participation in the international purchasing craze that is Black Friday, buying products in the hundreds of millions of shekels within hours.
Data from credit card processor Automated Bank Services showed that between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m., Israelis spent some NIS 745 million ($220 million), a rise of around 22 percent over the same period last year, continuing a trend of yearly increases in spending during the shopping frenzy.
Black Friday originates in the US. The day after the US Thanksgiving celebration is the traditional start to the holiday shopping season, and normally sees Americans line up outside stores before they open to clinch deals on popular items. The day has increasingly gained popularity around the world as a day of major discounts, including in Israel.
Many Israelis also take advantage of the day for purchases online, including on Amazon, AliExpress and other sites.
Data from the day itself only provides a partial picture on spending connected to it, as many sales begin days before the actual date and last well beyond it. Even before retailers opened their doors early Friday morning, e-commerce shoppers in the United States had already spent $76 billion since early November, up more than 20 percent from the year-ago period, according to data from software company Adobe, which has projected somewhat fewer promotions this year in light of rising costs.
In the US, after the pandemic kept crowds away last year, many shoppers were out in force Friday, a sign of how COVID-19 vaccines have returned life in the United States to something closer to normal.
Countering the positive trends are lingering supply chain problems, spiking consumer prices that have affected household staples such as food and fuel, and the COVID-19 pandemic, which is still far from over.
On Friday, stock markets worldwide tumbled on worries that the latest strain of the virus found in South Africa could derail the global recovery.