Shoprite, South Africa’s biggest supermarket group, reported on Tuesday a nearly 14% jump in its half-year sales, supported by a record Black Friday and festive season as cash-strapped shoppers and upmarket consumers went after food deals.

The retailer, with more than 2,900 stores across Africa, said group sales for the six months ended December 31 rose to R121.1bn.

Sales in the company’s second quarter, which include November and the Christmas holiday period, rose 14.6%.

Cash-strapped shoppers, hit by high interest rates and inflation, are spending less on discretionary items such as clothes and shoes and more on food and essentials.

“Sustained high level of execution and continued customer momentum together with record Black Friday and festive season trade has extended the period of uninterrupted market share gains achieved by our core South African supermarket brands to 58 months,” the retailer said.

The group’s core business, Supermarkets South Africa, which contributes about 80.5% to the topline, witnessed a 14.6% jump in sales, benefiting from the acquisition of 94 stores bought from Walmart-owned Massmart. Like-for-like sales climbed 6.3%.

Sales in the rest of its stores in Africa rose 6.2% in rand terms and by 20% in constant currency.

Like its peers, Shoprite is grappling with severe rolling power cuts, forcing it to crank up diesel generators and spend more on backup power supplies, adding to soaring costs for raw materials, transport and packaging.

The power outages resulted in diesel expenses of R500m in the reported period.