The Czech Republic is traditionally drowning in a flood of discounts at the end of November. As part of the Black Friday events, which fall tomorrow but have been running since the beginning of the month, retailers offer several tens of percent discounts on electronics, cosmetics, clothing, toys, books, and even erotica.
The E-Commerce Association has estimated that people will spend around seven billion crowns in e-shops during Black Friday, just like last year. Although most people’s financial situation has worsened, for many, it is all the more tempting to get Christmas presents a little cheaper and in advance.
Two-thirds of internet users want to use Black Friday and other discount promotions to buy at least some of their gifts, said Jan Vetyška, executive director of the Association for Electronic Commerce.
Some retailers are deceiving.
So far, the amount of real discounts in online stores is mostly between 10 and 15 percent, about the same as last year. However, according to data from the Shop Watcher project, some retailers advertise discounts up to four times higher.
But people need to be careful not to get burned while shopping. In many cases, the advertised discounts do not provide actual or only minimal savings. New legislation, which is not due to come into force until just before Christmas, is intended to stop this.
“There are still e-shops looking for loopholes. One of them, for example, is not to indicate the discount amount and just put the product in the Black Friday category, which is an unfair practice,” Jakub Balada pointed out on behalf of Hlídače shopů. He added that, in some cases, the product might even be overpriced. However, for the biggest reputable e-shops, the discount is close to the real one.
According to Hlídače shopů, for example, the average discount claimed by Alza is 19 percent, and the actual value is 18 percent; at Datart, it is 16 percent versus 12 percent, and at CZC, the average and claimed discount is the same at 14 percent.
Datart stores are running a Black Friday promotion throughout November. “Nearly four thousand products are included in the discount promotion. The greatest interest is in mobile phones, headphones, smart watches, tablets, and products from the body and hair care, but also in small household appliances like coffee machines and kitchen robots,” Olga Dolínková, spokesperson for Datart, said.
For retailers, the end of the year is always the season’s peak. “We also put current seasonal goods, such as nightwear, on sale, but it’s not just a sale of older collections.” During Black Friday, we have goods worth CZK 100 million on sale,” informed Lukáš Barcal, Astratex’s purchasing director.
The perfume retailer Notino or the Freeport Fashion Outlet, located on the border with Austria in Hati near Znojmo, attracts customers with 20 to 40 percent discounts.
“Czech customers are very price-sensitive. The most popular brands, such as Nike or Puma, will discount their entire assortment by another 30 percent, Mustang and Levi’s by 25 percent, and Adidas or Tommy Hilfiger by 20 percent, and dozens of our other stores will also be involved,” says Lenka Čapková, director of the Fashion Arena Prague Outlet center.
According to a survey for the Acomware agency and the shipping company Zásilkovna, 42 percent of people are tempted by discounts to make spontaneous purchases. Women are more likely to impulse shop, and people between 25 and 34 years old are the most likely to resist deals. High- or low-income households are more likely to make unplanned online purchases.
Zboží.cz: Tablets are the most discounted
The fact that the popularity of Black Friday in the Czech Republic is growing yearly and that many customers use this time to make long-delayed purchases is confirmed by the price comparison site Zboží.cz in its analysis.
During its measurement of the median price development, the most significant discounting of tablets occurred this year. Their mean (median) price in mid-October shot up from CZK 18,000 to CZK 21,000 within a few days, falling to CZK 15,000 at the end of October. It stayed there until November 11, dropping even lower by CZK 1,000.
“Quite surprisingly, there has been no significant drop in mobile phone prices. Be careful when buying washing machines where the average price has increased. Always compare the prices of competing offers before buying a particular model,” advises the comparator.
Data from Zboží.cz shows that practically all electronics were made more expensive at the end of October, only to be made cheaper by retailers at the end of the year.