Czechs start shopping for Christmas amid fears of rising prices and shortage of goods

Fears of rising prices and a shortage of consumer products caused by the global shipping crisis have prompted some Czechs to start shopping for Christmas earlier than usual.  Some Czech e-shops have already seen sales rise by tens of percent during September and the number of orders continues to increase, Czech Radio reported on Tuesday.

Internet stores around the country are reporting a growing demand for specific types of goods. Among the most sought-after items are children's toys, such as board games, dolls or building sets.

"The number of orders is gradually increasing. The first wave was visible at the turn of September and October. As in previous years, we are expecting to see the greatest demand in the second and third week of December," Pavla Hobíková, spokeswoman for one of the country’s biggest internet retailer, told Czech Radio.

Another major internet retailer, Alza, has also seen an increase in the number of orders, confirms its spokeswoman Daniela Chovancová:

"So far, we have seen an increased demand for typical Christmas product segments, such as toys and beauty products, especially cosmetics and jewellery.”

One of the reasons Czechs have started buying Christmas gifts earlier this year is that they fear a shortage of consumer products, not only on the internet but also in brick-and-mortar stores.

One of the reasons behind the problems with deliveries is the global collapse of shipping, caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. In spite of that, domestic retailers have been reassuring customers that they are well prepared for the Christmas season:

"We can assure our customers that we are pre-stocked and there will be no major shortage of goods in the pre-Christmas period,” Aneta Turnovská of the Globus supermarket chain told Czech Radio.

According to Tesco spokesman Josef Koukolíček, the company has already received all of its confirmed orders. However, as in previous years, it expects to see the biggest increase in sales in December.

Apart from Christmas, Czech retailers expect to see the biggest turnover at the end of November on the Black Friday, during which they will offer customers discounts of tens of percent on their goods.