Throngs of shoppers descended on various shopping malls around Pietermaritzburg on Friday as retailers slashed prices for Black Friday.Tills rang out as shoppers jostled to get the best discounts money could buy when some stores like Game opened from midnight.Mbali Thabethe, with her baby bump, said she arrived at the Liberty Midlands Mall early so she could take advantage of huge markdowns on items she said she desperately needed. She said she was excited about this year’s Black Friday because unlike last year she was able to budget properly.“I was here from 7 am. I specifically woke up early so I could purchase as many nappies as I could since I’m going to be a mother very soon,” she said. “This is my only opportunity to prepare for him/her just to make sure that when my baby boy or girl arrives I can welcome him/her to the world without worry and with an open heart and a smile,” said Thabethe.Jane Solomon from Northdale said she was very disappointed to find out that items she desperately needed were sold out. “I wanted to purchase a TV and when I got here this morning it was already sold out. This is the first time I’m taking advantage of the Black Friday specials and I’m quite disappointed. They should have kept more stock for the big influx of customers.”Another shopper, who asked not to be named, cautioned shoppers against impulse shopping, something she said she was a victim of last year.“Last year I had not compiled a shopping list nor budgeted for the day. I didn’t know what I wanted to buy and so I ended up with two trolleys full of items I did not need,” she said. Siphumelele Khumalo from Oribi Village was one of the customers who had to wait for hours in the long queue at Game. “I have been standing here from 8 am. There are delays with the TV license registrations. I think I’ll end up going to the Post Office. This is the first and last Black Friday I’m taking part in,” she said.A security guard at Game said his shift started from midnight when the store opened its doors. “It’s been a very hectic morning for everyone taking part in today’s Black Friday,” explained the security guard. “We had to deal with a very large crowd before we opened. People were very eager to gain entry to the store,” he said. Larger than expected volumes hit online retailer Takealot hard. According to users on Twitter, the website crashed at the payment screen after they had clicked pay. According to Google trending searches, “Takealot” generated more than 200 000 search queries on Friday, while “Game Black Friday 2018” generated over 50 000 search and “Black Friday deals” generated over 20 000 queries. It came as no surprise that Sportscene at the Liberty Midlands Mall was packed after it generated over 20 000 searches on Google on Thursday.Humiera Mohamed from Northdale, who was queuing at Sportscene, said she was very satisfied with the price difference on mark down prices.While reports from most stores were that Black Friday shopping was fairly calm, videos on social media have shown that there were some mini-stampedes. A video posted by Mala Naidu on Facebook showed chaotic scenes at Game in Empangeni where doors were broken down.