Electronics are among the most popular Christmas gifts in the Czech Republic. But this year, those interested in it must expect to pay more than last year. According to domestic retailers, it is, on average, up to a quarter more expensive than last year.
According to Jiří Trexler from the Czech Statistical Office, audiovisual, photographic, and data processing equipment and equipment, including repairs, were 8.7 percent more expensive in September than the previous year. However, the vendors point out that in many segments, the price increases are more significant and far from over.
The price of products, apart from the production itself, is mainly influenced by transport, with most electronics coming to the Czech market from China, where extensive anti-smoking closures have complicated output and exports in the last two years.
“During this year, the price of transporting a large container from Asia to Europe has almost halved compared to the end of last year. Still, transport prices are significantly higher than before the pandemic,” said David Fuchs, chairman of Agora DMT, the largest domestic importer of electronics.
That people are cutting back on electronics purchases because of other rising expenses is borne out by statistics. In August, sales at the computer and communications specialty stores fell nearly 13 percent yearly.
Interest in what saves
Compared to the peak of the pandemic, delivery times have roughly halved, according to Fuchs, with air freight taking about a month from production in Asia to sale in the Czech Republic and three months for bulkier goods transported by ship. Fuchs added that more than 80% of electronics ready for Christmas shopping are already in the Czech Republic.
Electronics retailers say they are feeling the demand for Christmas gifts well in advance this year. “Since the end of August, we have noticed that some customers have decided not to wait because of fear of rising prices and have already started buying them,” Pavla Hobíková, spokeswoman for e-shop Mall.cz, said.
“We are seeing a huge increase in sales of smart home products that help save energy. These are smart sockets, thermostats, adjustable heating heads, and other products. Depending on how they are used, these can save up to 50 percent of energy consumption, so the return on investment is in the order of a few months at today’s energy prices,” advises Fuchs.
“Interest in energy-efficient appliances is generally high, and customers prefer these goods. We haven’t seen a major drop in demand, but we are seeing less interest in appliances that are not strictly necessary, such as robotic vacuum cleaners,” said Dolínková for Datart.