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Maltese electronics stores hoping to cash in on Black Friday are having to contend with both localised and international problems, as this week’s adverse weather and the global supply chain crisis threaten to put a dampener on the event.

Electronics are arguably one of the most popular goods on Black Friday, so Businessnow.mt reached out to several stores to see how they were faring so far this year.

“You could say that Black Friday is our month. After a slow summer, we’re on track to reach our goals for this year, which are comparable to 2019,” said Kevin Rapinett, CEO of Klikk computer store.

Despite his optimism regarding the month so far, Mr Rapinett was cautious about the rest of the week.

“Obviously today’s weather is keeping people away, so let’s hope that clears up,” he said.

Bad weather isn’t the only problem retailers are having to contend with this year. A global microchip shortage has decimated the supply of electronic goods, a problem further exacerbated by a lack of containers with which to ship those few remaining goods to Malta.

“I can’t say we’ve had a bad Black Friday Week, but I think last year’s was better. Last year we were able to give customers bigger offers, but because of all the problems, we simply couldn’t be as generous this year,” said a representative for Digital Zone, while pointing out that the cost of a container has gone up from €3,000 to €15,000.

“We try as much as possible to absorb costs to avoid passing them onto consumers, but of course there is a limit. We just hope our customers understand that we aren’t being greedy,” he said.

Abigail Agius Mamo, CEO of the Malta Chamber Of SMEs, said that the fact that most businesses had extended Black Friday to Black Friday Week has gone some way to mitigating the “unprecedented” supply chain situation.

“The biggest issue that businesses have faced is not getting their goods in time,” she said.

Earlier this month, the Chamber of SMEs launched a directory in which the discounts and deals of more than 200 of its members have been gathered together into a single document, available both online and in print form.

“This year’s directory has been a success, with more businesses being on it, and also a lot of people inquiring about it online,” she said.

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