Even the arrival at the underground parking lot of the Forum Nová Karolina shopping and entertainment center in Ostrava’s center on Sunday hinted that it was a special day. Most of the seats were constantly occupied, as Golden Sunday drew tens of thousands of people to one of Ostrava’s temples of consumerism.
Already on Saturday, 50,000 people arrived for shopping and entertainment. It was only about a thousand less than last year. “Fifty thousand customers made Saturday the strongest day of this year’s Advent,” Martin Kubík, the center’s director, said, adding that the number of visitors should reach the same level on Golden Sunday.
The fact that people’s interest in buying Christmas presents this year is similar to previous years, despite the general increase in prices, was also confirmed by salespeople.
“You always spend on your loved ones”
“There is a lot of feeling that it is before Christmas. People are shopping and looking for gifts. The attendance is great,” said Kristýna from the jewelry shop. She admitted that she and her colleagues were worried that people would cut back this year. “But it hasn’t changed rapidly. The interest is roughly similar to last year,” she added.
Jaroslava Zieglerová, the manager of one of the toy shops, pointed out that people are not saving on children. Radim, a salesman at a nearby PC, console games, and electronics shop, said the same. “You always spend on your loved ones. You want to make them happy. The look on their face when you give them what they want is worth all the money,” he said.
Customers agreed with the merchants. For example, fiancés Marie and Milan from Hnojnik in the Frýdek-Místek region said they would spend about the same on gifts this year as they did last year.
“We were counting on it being Christmas, so we saved up for it,” said Marie, a young woman who was shopping for her husband-to-be in Ostrava.
At the last moment
Two friends from Krnov, seventeen-year-old Adam and sixteen-year-old Lukáš, went out to buy most of the presents. “It’s last minute. There was no time,” smiled Adam, admitting that so far, he has been successful in finding something to please his loved ones. He dismissed the notion that he’d scrimped and saved. “This year, it’s just the opposite. At least for me, it’s a record,” he admitted.
And his friend Lukas wasn’t looking at how much he had in his wallet yesterday either. “I have money. So far. I don’t care,” the young man added.