Black Friday began just like any other day for retailers and consumers in Cyprus, with no significant increase in business.

“This is just a normal Friday,” Employers and Industrialists Federation (OEB) general secretary Michalis Antoniou said while speaking to CyBC radio.

He added that shop owners must be “self-critical” when looking at reasons why there has been no surge in shopping, saying that shoppers had become “disbelieving and suspicious” after certain companies had “played with them” in previous years.

The scenes at shops around the island were a far cry from years gone by, when large numbers of people would queue outside before they opened, waiting to get their hands on discounted goods.

However, the shine of Black Friday has since worn off, with many discounts no longer as drastic or as attractive as those offered by shops in the past.

Antoniou said those with a big discount would be previous models or stock shopkeepers are keen on moving.

Real discounts were only seen of about 15 per cent, he added.

Additionally, some discounts are not as they seem, with the consumers’ association warning on Thursday that shoppers had already fallen victim to falsely advertised discounts.

Some companies have reportedly been presenting goods as being sold at Black Friday discounted prices, when in fact they are the same price as any other day.

In addition, the rise of online shopping has seen a general reduction in footfall at shops both in Cyprus and around the world, with Black Friday being no exception. Discount periods have also been extended to the whole week or month.

Small shopkeepers’ association (Povek) general secretary Stefanos Korsaris said “the institution of Black Friday has degenerated to a certain extent, as discounts have been offered in the days and weeks leading up to today.”

“As a result, Black Friday itself has been negatively affected,” he said.

He added, “the economic climate is not the best, with prevailing price rises and war in our region. Consumers are not being bullish, but it is the start of the Christmas season and we expect it to go well.”

Meanwhile, Association of retail trade (Pasyle) general secretary Marios Antoniou said there was “no increased traffic in shopping centres and on shopping streets.”

He added that this year’s Black Friday happened on a date when most people have not been paid their salaries for the month of November, “but also at a time when the market is more broadly numb.”

As a result, he said “people are being quite restrained and only go to make very targeted purchases.”