Czech tobacco shops have been offering various discounts and promotions for years, including a classic deal of a complimentary bottle of alcohol with the purchase of one or more cartons of cigarettes of a selected brand. Among the largest and most well-known players in this sector is Geco, which operates shops throughout the Czech Republic. The company offers a classic range of products such as newspapers, magazines, lottery tickets, cigarettes, and cigars.
Although we have never taken advantage of this promotion, we have known about it for several years. During its more than 20 years of operation, Geco has offered countless discount promotions, such as various “buy one, get one free” packages. Recently, the shop attendants have almost always enticed us with different nicotine pouches, which have flooded the Czech Republic, along with their promotional offer of “three plus one free.” The unsold pouches were later offered in combination with cigarette-deals.
These are mainly occasional promotions, but one of them is a staple – a complimentary bottle of alcohol with the purchase of one or two cartons of selected brands of cigarettes. It always involves selected brands of both cigarettes and alcohol.
Geco’s retail specialist, Barbora Husáková, told the press that they offer cigarette promotions based on the requirements of individual manufacturers who want to support their product. “If you have any questions, please contact the manufacturer,” she added.
We will describe our recent experience at a Geco shop as an example of how such discount promotions work. The line was long, with only one attendant available. However, the woman who finally approached the counter was not there to purchase a specific brand of cigarettes but to choose based on the available promotions.
“Hello, what bottle do you have now?” she asked. The attendant began to search for information about which rum and vodka went with which cigarettes.
“Two cartons of Rothmans, Božkov Republica rum. The attendant listed two cartons of this brand (we don’t remember the exact name, editor’s note), Absolut vodka…” among other deals.
The customer considered for quite some time which cigarettes to buy. Or rather, which bottle of hard liquor to receive. “Is that Republica rum?” she asked again.
After waiting in line for several minutes alongside other nervous customers, she left with six cartons of cigarettes and three bottles of hard liquor. It’s unclear whether the promotion will be effective in increasing cigarette and alcohol sales, but it seems likely that customers are more likely to buy more than they originally intended.