Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

Letter to the Editor: Slovak business laying dead

A few issues ago you wrote about the declining fate of retail outlets faced with foreign competition and in this issue [Vol. 8, No.2, January 21 - 27] you again make the case that the foreigners are doing well.

Perhaps it is my few years of study at a business school (Montreal's McGill University) or just common sense, but it seems more that Slovak business simply does not want to compete, and prefers to play dead. Tesco and Carrefour, to name two retail chains I know, have longer hours, are open more days and that often makes the case. Can't the local business community see that the stores are full on Saturdays after twelve and on Sundays too?

As someone who has spent some time in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, I have been frustrated many times in my efforts to purchase souvenirs or other goods because the stores were closed. I wonder how much tourist value is wasted on Saturdays and Sundays when antique shops are closed, galleries are closed, department stores are mostly closed, even restaurants.

Not only could locals imitate longer hours, but if they added customer relations and, horrors, clerk-initiated bagging, wouldn't that be something? In North America store clerks not only bag, they even stand.

Competition is about innovation, and that can include imitation. Perhaps there is a Slovak way of doing it better hiding out there in someone's imagination. That would be the comparative advantage.

Daniel de Cournoyer,
Bratislava

Top stories

How the national emblem appeared – including so far secret communism designs

Even Slovaks often do not know why the national emblem depicts a white double-cross, and not the Kriváň peak, or the design by artist Vincent Hložník. They also do not know why it makes a difference whether it is…

Offical Slovak national emblem and colours

Bratislava Zoo will have new wolf breeding station

One of most significant investments of the Bratislava Zoo in the year 2017 will be the building of a new wolf breeding station.

Foreigners: Events around Slovakia Photo

Tips for performances and other events in the Slovak regions between February 17 and February 26, including a race on old wooden sleighs, an operetta premiere, a lot of jazz, classical and rock music, and more.

Rce in krňačky sleighing, Turecká 2017

Some food really is better in Austria, study finds

EC says its role is to monitor safety, not quality – but Slovaks want the same as Austrians, says minister.

Illustrative stock photo