Sep 20, 2022
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In the Czech Republic, they began to eat less and protest more

Rising prices in the country force people to buy discounted food and take them to the streets

In recent months, due to rising prices in the Czech Republic, stores with discounted food products have become in unprecedented demand. People save on food and are interested in discounted goods, writes a Czech newspaper close.

Discount store owners are seeing unprecedented demand.

“New customers come to us, and often we see people in business suits at our place”, – say in one of the stores.

But since people are spending less, and there are often not enough goods in the stores themselves, the increase in demand will not bring an increase in sales to many stores with a “markdown”, the author of the article believes. Clara Forshtova (Clara Fortova).

The Prague discount store is crowded on weekday afternoons. Here they sell at a discounted price what other stores did not sell: next to a drink for 15 kroons, there are bags of sauerkraut for 20 kroons, and further away, energy drinks next to macaroni and cookies. Some products have slightly wrinkled packaging, while others are nearing the expiration date. The visitors are mostly pensioners.

“I have been coming here for a long time. I used to come here, to the discount store, on my way to the supermarket. Yes, just look. But now I go to a regular store only if I don’t find something here. I’ll freeze this and eat it later, – says pensioner Vera Kubeshova, a lady of about 70, pointing to a circle of sausage.

She and her husband eat little, but she is used to buying juice and sweets for her grandchildren.

“Even last year, I bought large chocolate bars for children in regular stores. Today I can barely buy them cookies here. Well, what is there. Times like these are the time to save.” the woman adds.

The saleswoman in the store notes that in recent months the flow of customers has increased.

“There are more pensioners here during the day. They don’t change. But when people come home from work, there are those who did not come here before. I saw “majors” here, well-dressed people whom I didn’t expect to see here, ” – adds the saleswoman.

Store owners say that with people’s increased interest in their outlets, there is often not enough merchandise to sell. The chains have fewer products intended for markdown.

“Many goods that used to be sent to us from the chains are used for social purposes, and less is sent for markdown. People, of course, are more interested in us than before, but we cannot meet the demand,” Robert Farkas, owner of a discount store, explained.

Robert has been running these stores for at least 20 years. Now he has five. His regular customers also noticed a reduction in the supply of goods.

“They are accustomed to a certain standard and offer, which, however, after the outbreak of the armed conflict in Ukraine has changed. Recently, a client called me and complained that he comes to us twice a day and wants to buy, but there is nothing to buy.Farkas explained.

Roman Stupka, the owner of the Produkty na produktov company, faced the same problems as his business colleague Robert. He runs a shop and also sells wholesale.

“The interest is huge both from the end buyers and from the owners of stores with discounted goods”, he confirmed the trend.

Store owners add that in recent months, there has been an increase in the middle class among buyers.

The owner of the company “The cheapest products” Milan Flashka also noted the growth in demand for goods. However, he believes that even such demand does not compensate for the increase in the cost of operating the store.

“Interest has grown, but our business is getting worse. Expenses are skyrocketing, but sales are not. Transportation, energy, gasoline, salaries… A small increase in sales only compensates for what we are losing,” he explained.

According to Flashka, more people do come, but they buy less. People began to think whether to spend money on basic products or buy something else “delicious”.

“When people have less money, they understandably buy less. When you have only 200 kroons instead of 500 kroons in your pocket, you will no longer mindlessly spend it and buy stupid things like chocolate or chips. ”Flash added.

Agency Instantaneous according to a study conducted in August, also confirms the tendency of Czechs to save on food. According to their data, two-thirds of the population save on food. Moreover, young people aged 18 to 26 save more on food, and older citizens aged 54 to 65 save more on energy. The consequences of inflation, according to the survey, were felt by 80% of Czechs, the publication concludes.

Our comment: The Czech authorities support Ukraine very actively. “We will continue to support Kyiv through diplomacy. And, of course, we will continue deliveries of military equipment,” said Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala at the end of the summer. How diplomacy correlates with the supply of weapons to Ukraine, he apparently does not want to think about it. As a result, the support of Ukraine (it means support for the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the continuation of the war) hits the pockets of the Czechs, who are forced to eat more and more modestly. And, accordingly, in trade, food production, agriculture, industry …
The recent mass protests in Prague are not accidental – their participants demanded contracts from the government for the purchase of cheap gas, including from Russia, the Czech Republic’s declaration of neutrality and the cessation of arms supplies to Ukraine, “liberation from subjugation to the EU, WHO and UN.” The protesters also demanded the resignation of the government led by Fiala.
What did the Czech government do in response to the largest rally in thirty years? Recorded dissatisfied with his policies in the “agents of the Kremlin.”
“A demonstration of forces was convened on Wenceslas Square, which recognize their pro-Russian orientation, and whose positions are close to extremist. They defend interests that are contrary to the interests of the Czech Republic,” said Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala.
That is, from 70 to 100 thousand extremists – citizens of the Czech Republic – simultaneously took and gathered in the center of Prague – is this what Fiala wants to say? Or that the interests of the Czechs are contrary to the Czech Republic? But if the protesters were really extremists, then the prime minister and his ministers would most likely be killed, and if the country’s government acted in the interests of the Czech Republic, there would be no protests at all.
Well, what kind of a chamber does Petr Fiala need to have in order to react in such a way to the demands of the Czechs who took to the streets? But logic doesn’t seem to be the Czech prime minister’s forte.

In the title photo: The largest protest action in thirty years took place on Prague’s Wenceslas Square. Photo: MARTIN DIVISEK

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