Mexico’s version of Black Friday, known as El Buen Fin or “the good weekend,” has seen sales grow annually since its inception in 2011, although in its fourth edition this year growth slowed to 13.7% from around 40% in its first two years.
A survey by Deloitte suggests that retailers don’t necessarily make their best offers over the long holiday weekend in mid-November, and that while consumers may bring forward some of their Christmas shopping, a vast majority still have more spending to do in December.
In the survey of 1,317 consumers, carried out Nov. 24-Dec. 2, 74% said they made purchases in the 2014 Buen Fin. Many of those who didn’t said they were disappointed with the offers, particularly those that were just months of interest-free credit.
Around half said they noticed no difference between El Buen Fin and other promotional events such as late-night sales at a number of department stores.
For most of the consumers interviewed by Deloitte, El Buen Fin did little to save on their Christmas bills. More than 80% said they still planned to buy more goods for the year-end holidays. The Mexican custom of giving and opening presents around the tree “not only hasn’t disappeared, but has gained strength over the years,” Deloitte found.
Government efforts to promote responsible buying and avoid earlier criticism that El Buen Fin simply encourages consumerism appear to have been successful, Deloitte said, noting that 71% only bought goods they had intended to buy anyway, while 29% said they bought on impulse, mostly because of the promotions. Clothes and shoes were the most mentioned goods, ahead of electronics and home appliances.
Despite the positive results of El Buen Fin in a sluggish economy, Deloitte questions whether the event does anything to boost the domestic market, with an impact on economic growth.
“According to its creators and promoters, El Buen Fin seeks to be consolidated as a mature program, focused on helping household economies, fostering domestic market activity and strengthening formal commerce,” Deloitte said.
But what’s really needed to achieve that, the firm adds, is a more productive and dynamic domestic market that creates more and better paying jobs, more equitable distribution of income, and a more efficient financial system that supports greater wealth accumulation.
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