Israelis Made Record 10,000 Purchases a Minute at Black Friday Peak

Credit card clearing system crashes as shoppers flock to sales

This Nov. 18, 2009 file photo,shows credit and bank cards with electronic chips in Gelsenkirchen, Germany.
AP Photo/Martin Meissner

The Black Friday sales fervor has hit Israel too, both on the internet and in physical stores. Israeli websites and malls reported a huge jump in sales on Friday – and as a result, the Shva credit card clearing system, the main Israeli national clearance system, crashed.

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The number of sales on international websites was up by 70 percent on Friday, and up about 40 percent on Israeli sites, compared to the Friday before, reported credit card company Leumi Card. The Azrielli website reported about 250,000 visitors, 60 percent more than on a regular day – and a 70 percent increase in the number of sales, along with a 25 percent increase in the average sales basket. Most of the sales were clothing, electrical goods and various consumer items such as toiletries and cosmetics.

At peak hours on Friday, Shva cleared about 10,000 sales a minute. Fridays are usually busy shopping days in Israel, but Black Friday was extraordinary and the heavy load caused problems, slowing down business. By mid-day, technicians managed to stabilize the system by controlling traffic.

At the same time, shoppers flooded the malls too. Azrieli Malls reported over 1 million people on Friday, three times the traffic of a normal Friday. The Gold Mall in Rishon Letzion reported 36,000 people, 30 percent more than last year, turned out on Black Friday this year. At the Mul Hayam Mall in Eilat, sales were up by 70 percent compared to a normal Friday.

The Adika website reported that traffic began building up on Tuesday night, with over 500,000 visitors over the weekend. Adika said it sold 130,000 items, a 70 percent increase over Black Friday of 2017.

The online sales rush for November began the week before with the Chinese Singles’ Day, starting on November 10. Israelis ordered about 4 million packages from Chinese websites over the two days (because of the time difference), said the Israel Post.

It is expected that after Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Israelis will set new records for purchases. Israelis have set new records for buying on the internet every year over the past five years in November. Last year, the post office reported 7 million packages arrived in Israel in November, weighing a total of 1,350 tons.