Poles Raise Prices, Still a Shopping Paradise for Czechs

With the advent of a new year and a new government, Poland has seen increased prices. Purchasing groceries from the Czech-favored Biedronka no longer saves hundreds, if not thousands, of crowns but hundreds. However, regarding price increases, the Czech Republic is not far behind its northern neighbors. Polish supermarkets continue to remain a popular destination for Czechs for larger purchases.

The price increase did not empty Biedronka locations in the Czech-Polish border area. Parking in front of supermarkets in the border town of Kudowa Zdroj was filled with cars bearing Czech license plates. On the contrary, the shops in the neighboring Nachod were half-empty.

Biedronka, where they have to replenish mainly promotional goods constantly, looked like after the departure of a swarm of locusts after Saturday’s shopping fever. “The last time I was here was shortly before Christmas. A range of goods was noticeably cheaper then. Today, Polish prices often catch up with Czech ones, or the difference is minimal. This was not the case until recently,” said Zbyněk from Hradec Králové, almost sixty kilometers away, on Saturday in Polish Kudowa Zdroj.

Notably, Biedronka is countering the price increase with targeted promotions – often offering one type of goods at a total price and a thirty to fifty percent discount on the second piece. Much more of the range is included in the loyalty app with a usual discount of thirty, sometimes even almost sixty percent. According to the Polish saying: Better a deco of trade than a kilo of work.

Poland still holds a zero VAT rate on basic foodstuffs, meat, dairy products, fruit, or vegetables. The tax is expected to return to five percent in the first quarter of this year. “If that happens, Polish prices will still not catch up with the Czech ones; I’m not afraid. This has probably never happened except for a fraction of commodities. People will arrange according to what is more advantageous for them now, and they don’t have to listen to the advice of smart alecks on TV,” thinks one of the long-term Biedronka customers.