Czech Christmas decorations face stiff competition from Chinese replicas
Supermarket chains selling cheap imported Christmas decorations are causing tough times for local producers. Traditional Czech hand-made decorations, such as ornamental glass baubles, are facing competition from factory-produced replicas sourced from China and sold at a fraction of the cost. Over the last ten months, 430 million crowns worth of decorations have been imported from China; consequently, domestic producers say they have to rely largely on exports to stay afloat.
Producers DUV, based in Dvora Kralové, report a 80 percent drop in production over a decade, and now make 8 million individual Christmas decorations annually. Miroslav Šorma, chairman of the DUV cooperative blames Chinese imports for the decline. The imports sell for as much as 80 percent less than the hand-made Czech variety. Furthermore, producers claim the imports come nowhere near to the quality of the locally-made variety.
Czech producers also complain that Chinese producers are ripping-off their designs. “We cannot stop this,” noted Šorma,“Because as we export to the whole world, a Chinese producer can just buy our pieces anywhere, copy these, and put those designs on a plastic decoration and sell that.” Applying for a license for each local design is prohibitively expensive, note producers.