Coronavirus spurs Czech sales of freezers, game consoles, air purifiers

Foto: Nick Saltmarsh, Flickr, CC BY 2.0

Czech retailers have recorded a steep rise in sales of freezers, game consoles and air purifiers along with the spread of coronavirus, along with non-perishable foodstuffs and pharmaceuticals, the news server Aktuálně.cz reports.

Illustrative photo: Nick Saltmarsh, Flickr, CC BY 2.0
With schools and universities closing, more people working from home, and now a ban on public gatherings of more than 100 people, such sales are expected to further spike.

Patricia Šedivá, a spokesperson for leading retailer Alza.cz, said sales of air purifiers have risen 300 percent. "We are also seeing increased demand for baby goods such as diapers and baby food, and freezer sales have increased by 100 percent," she told Aktuálně.cz.

The electronics and home appliance chain Datart has noted increased sales of a range of white goods, with demand for home bakeries rising fivefold.

Mall.cz spokesperson Pavla Hobíková said a number of suppliers have reported depleted stocks and delivery delays. “It also depends on the product range and the degree of supplier's dependence on Chinese or Italian components,” she added.

Online shops selling and delivering food, drugstore and sanitary goods, such as such as Rohlik.cz and Košík.cz, are experiencing a surge comparable to during the Christmas holiday season, according to Aktuálně.cz, citing Jan Vetyška, head of the Association for Electronic Commerce.

As of the morning of 11 March morning, there were 64 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the Czech Republic, of which 34 were in Prague. A total of 1,358 people had been tested.

While fear of contracting Covid-19 has temporarily boosted retail sales, the long-term effect on the economy is overwhelmingly negative. The Czech National Bank (CNB) has not ruled out the possibility of lowering key interest rates this month to support the economy, at least psychologically.

Analysts said the negative impact on the Czech economy has increased with every government action taken against the contagion.