As every year after the Christmas and New Year's holidays, this Monday most of the retailers in the Czech Republic opened their stores with huge seasonal sales. But this time the discounts were much higher than in previous years. The general shopping binge was so big that it even caused long queues and traffic jams in several Czech cities.
New Year's sales in stores around the Czech Republic including a major hypermarket and a well-known furniture outlet have reportedly spurred dramatic shopping sprees in Czech and Moravian cities like Usti nad Labem, Pilsen, Ostrava, and Brno. It has been reported that in some areas, as a result of the shopping, traffic even grinded to a halt. The price drops saw Czechs pack stores to buy electronic and photo items, toys, women's and men's wear, and home appliances.
Together with the rise of the economy, Czechs tend to spent more money and buy ever more expensive products, which is particularly visible before the Christmas holidays. Last week it seemed that the shopping spree in Czech cities had reached its peak. But now Christmas is over and retailers are making an effort to get rid off their remaining stock. And this year the sales are starting much earlier than in previous years.
The Czech Republic's most renowned tractor manufacturer Zetor - which used to have assembly plants in Asia and North America - is currently experiencing a new boom in sales. With the Czech Republic now in the EU, the recently privatised company hopes to regain its status as the region's biggest and most respected tractor producer.
Arms imports to the Czech Republic have increased nearly fourfold in the past decade. A report, published on Tuesday, says that until 1989 Czech arms exports exceeded imports, but the situation changed radically in the 1990s. Last year the Czech Republic imported over 2,500 revolvers and pistols from Bulgaria, Austria and Ukraine and various types of rifles from Germany, the Netherlands and Russia. About a thousand sub-machine guns were imported from Belgium and Switzerland.
What in the world, you're probably wondering is that? What you're hearing is actually the sound of thousands of different domestic birds featured at the 28th European Breeders' Fair held this year in Prague, bringing together about 14,000 specimens of fowl and small furry animals. Jan Velinger was there and brought back - no, not a cuddly new pet - but this report.
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