Get your clicking/tapping finger ready: The Czech version of the American post-Thanksgiving shopping frenzy known as “Black Friday” returns on November 18.
A kinder, gentler shopping experience than its American cousin, the entire event (known as Day of Free Shipping/Den Dopravy Zdarma) takes place, mercifully, on-line as opposed to in a violent mob of a line.
The merch is still flying off the virtual shelves—in 2014, for instance, electronics retailer CZC.cz sold 100 discounted televisions in 20 minutes; a record for one-day sales.
Last year 1,244 e-shops participated in Day of Free Shipping with a total turnover of 208 million CZK coming from 134,000 orders (a 384% increase from the previous week). Consumers saved over 12 million CZK in shipping fees. Electronics accounted for 24% of purchases with “white goods” (refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines) making up 22% of the Black Friday booty.
Next week, the event kicks off at 12pm and runs until midnight on November 19. Free delivery applies for purchases over 300 CZK from participating online retailers (see here for a list of participating e-shops).
Day of Free Shipping launched in 2012 but the idea of pre-holiday shopping fanfare isn’t a new one here—in communist Czechoslovakia and other Eastern Bloc countries, the three Sundays leading up to Christmas were known as bronze, silver, and gold when stores would actually open their doors on a weekend, a rarity for the time.