Czech shoe and clothing stores circumventing restrictions on sales of adult-size goods

Customers already in the store are phoning in orders to pick up in person; Bata management told their staff to sell to anyone.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston
Published on 22.01.2021 17:00 (updated on 30.01.2021)

Some shoe and clothing stores have found a way around Czech government restrictions that limit sales to just children.

Sales of children’s shoes and clothes were allowed to restart as of Jan. 19. But the same items for adults were not included in the government exemptions to the ban on sales of non-essential goods due to the anti-pandemic restrictions. Paper goods stores were also allowed to reopen.

Daily Mladá fronta Dnes (MfD) reports that executives at shoe company Baťa have sent an email to employees telling them not to prevent the sales of any store items.

“The store manager guarantees that every customer who enters our store will be properly served and satisfied with whatever he wants from our products. None of the staff will investigate and find out with inappropriate questions why the customer has entered the store and what they want to buy, let alone send some customers away,” a company email addressed to employees said, according to MfD.

The store management claims it is fully respects all government regulations concerning, for example, the rules for goods that may now be sold directly in stores without ordering, and the number of customers in the store.

Baťa's marketing specialist Denisa Jandová told MfD that the stores also function as a pickup point for goods that have been ordered by telephone or online. She said the email’s purpose was to ensure that store staff meet the customers needs whether in the free sale of children’s goods or service associated with picking up the ordered or repaired goods, returning goods or making complaints.

In effect, people can see items in a shop, and the store staff can assist them in calling in their order for it by giving them a code number. It can then be picked up and paid for once the code number for the order has been registered as a telephone sale. Adult shoes, though, cannot be tried on at the store, while children’s shoes can.

This is far from an isolated case, according to MfD. Other companies that specialize in the sale of clothes and shoes are following similar procedures with online or telephone ordering while the customer waits in the shop.

The government had announced prior to Jan. 19 that is was considering allowing sales of the sales of shoes, children’s clothes, underwear, and paper goods. However, when the final announcement of what government had agreed on was announced, adult shoes and underwear were not included. Sales of children’s shoes, children’s clothes, and paper goods was allowed in specialized shops as well as in hypermarkets and other stores that carry them.