The holiday next Tuesday, October 30, on which Slovaks will mark the anniversary closely linked with the establishing of the first Czechoslovak Republic, will be not an ordinary state holiday. Since this will be a one-off holiday held only this year, shops are not obliged to close. But this is not true for Thursday, November 1, when Slovaks will mark All Saints Day. On this day shops will be closed and people can buy basic food items only at some petrol stations.
Retail analyst Ľubomír Drahovský sees the freedom of shops to decide themselves whether they will open or not as a good step.
“Shops can show that they honour shoppers and want to give them the opportunity to shop,” said Drahovský as cited by the Sme daily.
From the big retail chains only Tesco will close its outlets on October 30. It argues that it prefers to give a free day to its employees.
Billa and Kaufland will be open while adjusting opening hours. Kaufland will be open until 17:00 and Billa will follow its Sunday opening hours. Some Billa shops may be open until 17:00 and others even until 20:00. Lidl will be open like on a normal working day.
The Labour Ministry reminds than even though shops can decide themselves whether they would open on Tuesday, their employees are entitled for surcharges to work during holidays. These accounts for 100 percent of the average wage of the given person.
On Thursday, November 1, the shops are obliged to remain closed since this is one of 16 holidays during which shops must not force their employees to work, according to a revision of the Labour Code from the previous year.
Petrol stations as a last resort
One option for buying food during ordinary holidays are petrol stations. The extension of the range they offer is a logical consequence of the change in the Labour Code banning retail sale on holidays.
Shell started to sell basic food at some of its petrol stations at the beginning of this year. Those interested can shop at petrol stations in Bratislava at Einsteinova and Karlovoveská and in Šaľa and Nitra. By the end of this year Shell wants to offer basic food items at 17 petrol stations.
“The offer of a specific petrol station depends on its locality and preferences of customers,” said Petr Šindler, spokesperson of Shell as cited by the Sme daily. “The petrol stations people pass when going to work offer, for example, basic foods so people can do their daily shopping on the way.”
Lukoil, another petrol station chain, plans to extend its assortment of food, too. Recently it joined the retail chain Delia. For now, it has launched a shop at its petrol station in Bratislava’s borough of Ružinov.
However, people should be prepared for higher prices at petrol stations. They may be higher by even 10 percent compared to retail chains.
24. Oct 2018 at 12:59 | Compiled by Spectator staff