Black Friday growing in the Czech Republic

The tradition of sales after America’s Thanksgiving is going global

Even though Czechs don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, held the fourth Thursday in November, the tradition of big sales on the following day, called Black Friday, has been catching on, especially among big retailers.

Black Friday, which traditionally applies to brick and mortar stars, is followed by Cyber Monday when online retailers have big discounts.

While in the US, Black Friday is one day only, in Europe it is used a more generic term for early Christmas sales that can last for several days or even a more than a week.

Marketing experts say consumers should pay attention. Tomáš Poucha, director of the Marketing Institute, told daily Hospodářské noviny (HN) that Czech retailers often use Black Friday sales to get rid of unattractive goods so they can free up shelf space for better items.

Black Friday and similar actions by traders increase sales but can reduce profits, Poucha added.

Online retailer Kasa.cz spokesperson Andrea Chižmářová told HN the interest in Black Friday increased every year, and the store expects 20 percent more sales than last year.

Daniel Blažek, marketing director of Heureka.cz warns that the actual savings advertised in dozens of a percent may, in reality, be smaller due to advertising tricks. The Heureka.cz site offers price comparisons.

One thing that helps to push Black Friday in the Czech Republic is that global brands advertise and offer discounts, and the savings are simply being passed on. But some analysts point out that for electronics, even with a discount they are still more expensive than in other countries.

Samsung and Honor both offer discounts on some phone models Samsung also has a cashback refund on top of the reduced price for the S8 and S8+ models.

The Honor 8 Premium model with 64 GB of memory can be bought from Alza at saving.

Apple vendors have small discounts on older iPhones and larger discounts on MacBooks, iMacs and the older generation of Apple Watch. Significant discounts are rare for Apple.

Czech customers can also find discounts in HTC’s global e-shop. HTC phones prices are down by one-fifth and shipping is included.

Online shop Alza also has a deal on the HTC Vive virtual reality system.

High-end TV sets have dropped substantially in price compared to last year, OLED sets with 4k resolution are about half of what they were.

Game machines including PlayStation 4 and Xbox One S also have global discounts. PlayStation 4 Pro is on sale at CZC.cz. Electroworld has a small discount on the newer Xbox One X.

Some older model machines and games can be found for up to 70 percent off.

People can also look on foreign site like Amazon in Germany to find discounts, but often the items can’t be shipped to the Czech Republic. Also, the exchange rate for crowns often is not advantageous, HN warns.

For brick and mortar stores, the C & A clothing chain on Friday will offer a 20 percent discount on everything.

Sales in Expert Elektro will run from Friday to December 6. Discounts will be on goods offered not only in the e-shop but also in the chain stores for the first time.

Datart will have Black Friday until Sunday, with discounts up to 80 percent on some accessories, small electronics, smartphones, game consoles, TVs and large home appliances.

Lidl has Black Friday for the first time in its new e-shop, with savings of up to a third.

Tesco will also have discounts up to 50 percent on cosmetics, diapers and sparkling wine as well as computers, television, tablets or washing machines.

The term Black Friday began in the United States in the 1952 and it refers to the day that retailers go from operating at a loss, being in the red, to making a profit, being in the black. People have offered other explanations for the origin, though, such as that it refers to traffic jams created by shoppers.

In much of the US, people have the day after Thanksgiving off and spend the day shopping, making it the busiest shopping day of the year.

In the US, there have been incidents of violence with people fighting over items on sale, and even several deaths due to trampling in crowds and violence.

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