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Black Friday Culture in Czechia vs United States
How Czechia kickoffs Black Friday, the start of the Christmas shopping season
Black Friday, known as the start of the Christmas shopping season, has come around the corner, bringing the best deals and promotions to the table and saving money for millions of shoppers around the world.
In 2022, Black Friday is not only dedicated to one particular Friday (November 25). Instead, it is an early bird this season. From the first dates of October, most shops started their Black Friday campaigns with significant discounts of up to 80%. At least, this is the situation here in my resident country of Czech Republic.
The Christmas shopping season starts with Black Friday, extends throughout the weekend until Cyber Monday, and finally concludes with Giving Tuesday, a tradition that has yet to gain the same adoption in the Czech Republic as its home origins in the United States. In this 24Hour Journal post, let's analyze how Czechia implemented the US shopping holiday season of Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Giving Tuesday.
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Black Friday in the Czech Republic
Even though the notion of Black Friday is relatively new to the Czech Republic and its shopping culture, everyone seems to enjoy every bit of it. For instance, one reason why Czechs seem to adore the event is the feeling of belonging to the "global" culture, thanks to the process of internalization and globalization of our society. Another reason is the proximity to the Christmas season - the perfect time to buy presents for beloved ones.
"Black Friday is unquestionably popular in the Czech Republic, and the promotion of this event plays a big role in this - because it is a "global" event, which is reflected by a large number of retailers and media. Another important reason for the popularity of the event is the timing, with Black Friday coming close to Christmas," said Lenka Stipcak, Marketing Specialist at dTest, one of the leading consumer agencies in the Czech Republic.
It is not a secret that one of the most attractive attributes of the event is discounts going up to eighty percent, which is beloved by Czechs as a nation who love to save some extra cash. Yet, Black Friday in the United States differs drastically from Black Friday in the Czech Republic due to cultural background and various traditions, including Thanksgiving Day, which is not celebrated in Europe.
"It is essential to mention that Black Friday in the Czech Republic is not the same as, for example, in the USA. The difference is in the number of discounts and duration of the event. In the Czech Republic, as a rule, the discounts are not so significant that people could "normally" buy at a discount of 90%. However, these are rather lower discounts which last for several weeks at some retailers," emphasized Stipcak.
Nevertheless, some retailers still implement high discounts of 70% or 80%. As a vivid example, Zoot, an online platform for shopping, has discounts of up to 70% for Black Friday promotion this year.
Yet, calculating the discount or special price could be misleading and confusing for customers. In the real world, the deal can be less than the promised eighty percent, thanks to the proper manipulation of retailers. In other words, retailers create a "fake" original price so that consumers fall for the trap of significant discounts.
"The discount can be calculated on the significantly higher price than the price of the goods in the regular market," stated the head of the legal department of dTest.
Nevertheless, most retailers follow the ethics and standards in the market and offer generous discounts to customers. For instance, Alza.cz, one of the largest electronic shops in the Czech Republic, was the first to introduce the notion of Black Friday Sales to Czechs, offering delightful promotions.
"Ten years ago, in 2012, we first introduced the Black Friday concept to Czech and Slovak markets and became local pioneers of Black Friday. Inspired by foreign newsletters, we followed the traditional Black Friday pre-Christmas event that has been kicking off the pre-Christmas season for the past 60 years," said Daniela Chovancová, the spokesperson for Alza.cz.
After a while, other stores joined the promotion of Black Friday and made hundreds, if not thousands, of people happier and wealthier. "We want to provide the best shopping experience to our customers and continue to meet their expectations for events like Black Friday," concluded Zalando, an online retailer of shoes, fashion, and beauty.
At the same time, Black Friday does not have a high correlation with traditions and national holidays in the Czech Republic as it does in the United States of America. There is no Thanksgiving Day before Black Friday, no chaotic and crazy shoppers (aka Karens) who fight for the last item like the boxing tournament, and no underlined traditions to go shopping just because it is Black Friday. That is why Czech retailers offer significant discounts at any time of the year without connecting to the initial November promotion.
The Digital Black Friday on a Monday
Cyber Monday is an event known as a "digital" Black Friday, or as we may say, a notion created by marketers to encourage people to shop online rather than in brick-and-mortar stores. Usually, Cyber Monday takes place on the first Monday after Black Friday. In 2022, it falls on November 28.
Like Black Friday, Cyber Monday has a different story in the Czech Republic with its plot twist and game rules. In fact, it is not as viral as the Black Friday Sale. The notion of Cyber Monday is still developing here, and only a few stores participate in it.
"In the past, we have also tried concepts for Cyber Monday or Singles Day. Gradually, as our Black Friday grew in terms of the number of items offered and the length of the event runs, we decided to focus on it and prepare the best possible offer," noted Chovancová.
Originally Cyber Monday came from the United States as a continuation of a long shopping holiday. However, the tendency to shop online has recently emerged, and some stores united Black Friday and Cyber Monday together.
This was a great success from the marketing side. As of 2016, online sales on both Black Friday and Cyber Monday were more significant than sales from the brick-and-mortar stores reported BlackFriday.cz, the portal providing the best Black Friday deals from 2012.
This year, a couple of outlets joined the Cyber Monday promotion. Among them, you can find Sephora, Vodafone, Zbozi.cz, Mango, and others.
Giving Tuesday: Holidays have no limits
Shame on you if you thought Cyber Monday was our list's last "discounted" holiday! Giving Tuesday is our last stop on our shopping adventure. In a nutshell, it is an event where you support non-government organizations, charities, and philanthropic arts, including Doctors without Borders and People in Need.
Giving Tuesday came to the Czech Republic in 2016, four years apart from its birth in the United States. Back then, there were more than 100 activities for Giving Tuesday: "We have big charities such as Doctors with borders. And we also have tiny charities like local hospices and other local organizations," said Markéta Šetinová, a coordinator at the Association of Social Responsibility, a Czech corporate and social responsibility NGO serving as an official ambassador for the event.
According to GivingTuesday.cz, the official event of Giving Tuesday in the Czech Republic, in 2021, the initiative, with the help of 224 registered entities, raised 95 million Czech crowns, donated hundreds of tons of food and clothing, and performed good deeds. It was a record.
Shop smart with online deals from Black Friday to Cyber Monday, and do a good deed to support your favorite non-profit organization on Giving Tuesday!