Czech Republic Enforces Closure of Large Stores on September 28th

Prague, Czech Republic – September 26, 2023 – The Czech Republic is gearing up for a unique retail scenario this week as the country enforces the closure of stores with an area exceeding 200 square meters on Thursday, September 28th, in accordance with the law on sales hours. This regulation, which impacts supermarkets and furniture stores, aims to provide respite for retail workers while also giving citizens an extended four-day weekend. However, exceptions to this rule include gas stations, pharmacies, and stores situated in high-travel areas such as airports and train stations.

Food retail chains are anticipating a surge in customer traffic, particularly on Tuesday and Wednesday, as shoppers prepare for the closure. Tomáš Kubík, spokesperson for the Penny Market chain, noted that while September 28th doesn’t hold the same traditions or major celebrations as other holidays, customers tend to stock up on fresh foods like bread, meat, fruits, and vegetables in the days leading up to it. Stores are expected to see a significant increase in footfall on Wednesday, with some experiencing up to a 10% rise compared to regular days.

Jiří Mareček, spokesperson for the Albert chain, shared insights into their preparations, stating that they have stocked their stores for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. This shift in shopping patterns is likely to move the usual Friday sales rush to Wednesday, as many customers are set to enjoy an extended weekend.

Online supermarkets, such as Rohlík.cz, have also adapted to the holiday closure. Denisa Morgensteinová, spokesperson for Rohlík.cz, explained that deliveries will remain available during regular hours, with an expected 20% increase in demand on Wednesday and a staggering one-third surge on Thursday.

However, the holiday closure has sparked some confusion among customers, especially those near the Austrian border, where visitors may not be familiar with the regulations. Jan Procházka, director of the Freeport Fashion Outlet center in Znojmo, emphasized the challenges of fielding customer inquiries regarding store closures.

This legislation, implemented in 2016, mandates the closure of large stores on specific national holidays, including September 28th. The Czech Trade Inspection Authority oversees compliance. Labor unions have long advocated for extending the sales ban to cover all national holidays, though this remains a topic of ongoing debate.

As Thursday approaches, Czech citizens and businesses are preparing for a unique shopping experience, with some relishing the extended break while others make the most of the shopping opportunities available before the temporary closure.

Article by Prague Forum

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