Czechs borrow most in the weeks leading up to Christmas, including by
taking advantage of credit offered by retailers, according to a new survey
commissioned by the Czech Consumers’ Association.
During the course of the year, on average about 27 percent have borrowed beyond their means. Twice as many do so between mid-November and early December, the survey found.
Czechs are borrowing more than ever to buy Christmas presents for their relatives and friends, suggests a survey carried out among the country’s non-banking consumer lenders. In the months preceding the festive season, loan firms are traditionally recording an increase in the number of loan applications.
Retailers have continued to register high sales even after Christmas, rivalling that of pre-holiday spending and marking a rise of roughly five percent year-on-year, according to the Czech News Agency. Many e-shops slashed prices on December 26 as did stone-and-mortar shops when they reopened a day later.
Close to half of Czechs would like to see the law forcing shops to close on
selected holidays scrapped. According to a poll conducted for Czech Radio
by the Median agency 48 percent of respondents find the legislation
unnecessarily restrictive and would like to see it scrapped. 49 percent say
they are not inconvenienced by it.
In line with the law shops of over 200 square metres must close their doors over the Christmas holidays. They must close by midday on December 31st and remain closed on January 1st.
The Christmas shopping spree in the Czech Republic hit its peak on Monday, December 11, with Czechs spending more than one billion crowns in e-shops in a single day, the Association for Electronic Commerce said on Wednesday. According to the price comparison website Heureka.cz, online stores recorded nearly two-and-a-half million orders.
Visitors to the Czech Republic as well as locals should be warned that stores larger than 200 square metres will close at noon on December 24 and remain closed for two days after that. A new law which has come into effect aims to make the Christmas period less about commerce and more about the holiday spirit, allowing people to slow down and spend time with their families. The flip-side is that there has been a greater rush at large stores in the run-up. This week, there was no shortage of long lines at many major retailers.