Black Friday sales set Czech online record, e-shopping expected to remain strong

The pandemic led to a big jump in online sales for both e-shops and traditional shops.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston
Published on 30.11.2020 14:33 (updated on 30.11.2020)

E-shops in the Czech Republic saw a record level of Black Friday sales, with an average increase of 42 percent compared to the same time last year. Compared to this year's daily average, sales were up 134 percent.

The jump in Black Friday sales was in line with predictions. Interest grew the most in the sale of toys and electronics. Online sales are expected to remain strong throughout the rest of the shopping season.

Black Friday, which this year fell on Nov. 27, is one of the largest sales days of the year and the traditional start of the holiday shopping season.

Demand for online store servers doubled, according to hosting service provider vshosting, whose services are used by more than 50 percent of Czech and Slovak e-shops.

Vendors said that this year’s Black Friday was even more intense as it took place during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic while restrictions kept most shops closed. Brick-and-mortar shops will reopen Dec. 3.

“Some e-shops with an assortment typical of Christmas gifts, such as toys or electronics, saw up to four times the turnover [compared to an average day],” Shopsys sales and marketing director Matěj Kapošváry told the Czech News Agency (ČTK). The Shopsys platform, which provides a space for online retailers, is operated by vhosting.

Electronics and toy stores, as well as domestic needs suppliers, recorded an increase in turnover of more than 100 percent compared to last year’s Black Friday sales.

The load on the servers of individual e-shops also increased due to the sales. The number of requests or clicks on individual online stores doubled compared to the average to 345 clicks per second. Vshosting said traffic at the most seasonally focused stores increased by more than 2,200 percent.

“When the Black Friday event peaked, the average value reached as much as 600 requests per second. This is an increase of more than 60 percent compared to last year,” vhostings’s commercial director David Lintimer said. He added that vhosting had increased capacity and replaced some servers with more powerful ones.

Increased online sales are expected to continue throughout the shopping season, despite stores reopening.

This year is a record year for domestic online stores due to the coronavirus crisis and government restrictions on brick-and-mortar stores. “If we look at the segment of large stone players, their sales in the online environment will be double this year compared to what they were last year," Kapošváry said.

Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving in the United States. People there typically have a day off from work, and many use it to go shopping. Stores have responded with large one-day only sales to try to attract the most customers.

The origins of the name Black Friday are disputed. Some claim that police in Philadelphia began using the term because of the large and unruly shopping crowds they had to deal with. Another explanation is that it was when stores begin to turn a profit, or start using black ink instead of red ink on the ledger.

The event has spread to many other countries, especially in Europe. Though, the term is often used loosely in the Czech Republic with any one-day only sale on any Friday in the year being called a Black Friday sale.