Czech e-shops offer support to vendors from closed Christmas markets

Online supermarkets Rohlik.cz and Košík.cz are giving vendors from Czech Christmas markets the chance to sell their goods online.

Jason Pirodsky

Written by Jason Pirodsky Published on 27.11.2021 09:59 (updated on 28.11.2021) Reading time: 2 minutes

Under the new state of emergency in the Czech Republic, Christmas markets in the country have been forced to close as of yesterday evening. Many markets, including the popular one on Prague's Old Town Square, never had the chance to open for the 2021 season.

The sudden closure will have a large impact on vendors at the markets, who will miss out on one of the most popular shopping events for the second year in a row. For local farmers and small businesses who have invested resources into products that can no longer be sold after the holiday period, the closure of Christmas markets can be devastating.

Two of the Czech Republic's largest online marketplaces, however, have offered support to vendors from the closed Christmas markets through the opportunity to sell their products online.

"We want to help small producers and producers!" online supermarket Rohlik.cz tweeted.

"For them, closing the Christmas markets can significantly reduce sales. The pandemic situation is serious, but we have a solution. We offer producers the opportunity to sell with us. If they contact us, we can list their products [online] within 3 days."

Košík.cz, meanwhile, reminded vendors of a special program called designed to promote local farmers. The program was launched last spring, when farmers' markets throughout the country were closed under the first state of emergency in the Czech Republic.

"However, the benefits of the program are still relevant today," Košík.cz spokesperson František Brož told ČTK on Friday.

"[Vendors] can use, for example, the immediate payment of invoices to have enough funds for wages and fuel. And every month we dedicate media space worth hundreds of thousands of crowns to support their products."

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Online farmers' market Scuk.cz represents another resource for local vendors. Specialized in goods from producers throughout the Czech Republic, the company currently offers about 12,700 products from 370 local farms.

The outgoing Czech government declared a state of emergency on Thursday, with the closure of Christmas markets throughout the country one of the primary measures. While a new Prime Minister is expected to be sworn in on Sunday, representatives from the incoming government have stated that they will respect the measures introduced by their predecessors.

The closure of Christmas markets as they began to open around the country has been a controversial move. Outdoor vendors can only sell Christmas trees, mistletoe and related goods, and fish products through December 25.

“The government's decision to abolish the outdoor Christmas markets literally from day to day is outrageous for all market operators and the stallholders themselves, who often bought the goods on credit," Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib wrote on Facebook.

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While it may not be the same experience for shoppers, keep an eye out for products from local vendors at your online marketplace of choice this holiday season.

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