Most large shops in Czechia will close on May 8, despite the option to stay open

The current state of emergency allows for an exception to the law that forces shops over 200 square meters to close.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston Published on 04.05.2022 11:25:00 (updated on 04.05.2022) Reading time: 2 minutes

This weekend sees a double holiday land in the Czech Republic: Sunday, May 8, commemorates Liberation Day, the end of World War II. This year, Mother’s Day which is always celebrated on the second Sunday in May also falls on May 8.

If you're planning on pampering your mom with an elaborate meal, be sure to stock up in advance – most shops over 200 square meters will remain closed for the public holiday.

What's the reason for the change in policy and where can you still shop on Sunday?

Shops typically close on Liberation Day, designated a public holiday by Czech law since 2016. Due to the current state of emergency, however, that law is currently suspended until the emergency state ends on May 31.

Many businesses say they'll still be closing, despite the option to remain open, in order to allow employees to rest or spend time with their families.

The Globus, Kaufland, Lidl, Billa, and Penny supermarket chains, as well as the Hornbach and Bauhaus hobby markets and the Asko-Nábytek stores, will be closed on May 8. All but one branch of the Albert chain (in České Budějovice) will close as well.

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While most shopping malls will stay open, many of the shops located in malls, especially larger ones, may be closed.

In Prague, shops under 200 square meters will be open at Atrium Flora. The Albert supermarket there will be closed. Centrum Černý Most will be open except for its Globus supermarket. Metropole Zličín will be open, but some of its shops may not be, they stated. Other large malls did not specify any changes. Multiplexes at the malls will be open.

So far the only mall in Prague to say that it will close entirely on May 8 is shopping center Šestka.

Delivery services are not covered by the law and should operate as normal. Note though, that personal-shopper services that rely on sourcing items from supermarkets will also be faced with limited suppliers.

The Association of Shopping Centers has long opposed the law requiring shops to close on some holidays, arguing that businesses should be able to respond freely to the needs of the market and the region.

On the contrary, unions representing shop workers want to extend the regulation to cover all holidays and not just some of them.

Sales restrictions on selected holidays in stores over 200 square meters apply from the end of 2016. Large stores must remain closed on New Year's Day, Easter Monday, May 8, Sept.28, Oct. 28, and Dec. 25 and 26. They must also close at noon on Dec. 24.  

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