Stores in London have cut prices by as much as 70%. (ČTK)Stores in London have cut prices by as much as 70%. (ČTK)

The British capital is famous for its post-Christmas sales. Local stores have cut prices by as many as 70%. With the pound below CZK 27 and return flights from CZK 2,000, it really pays off for Czechs to do their shopping in London.

This year, sales in London will be even more advantageous, for they will serve as a tool to tackle the financial crisis that has hit the wallets of “ordinary” Britons.

“Shopping in London during seasonal sales is more than 50% cheaper. There is a wider selection of goods, more modern designs and lower prices than there are in our country,” said fashion designer Jana Thálová who worked in London for several years.

When travelling to London, Czechs can buy – at much lower prices – the brands they know from their country or head for shops that they cannot find in the Czech Republic. Moreover, London has something for everyone.

Luxury lovers can visit the world-famous department store Harrods, buy jewellery at Piccadilly and explore the luxury stores along Regent Street. London is a paradise for young fashion designers who sell their eccentric models in Camden and Spitalfields, for example. Everything is a good deal compared to Czech prices.

Czech shoppers find London attractive also for its proximity. Even now, return flights for January are very cheap, especially at low-cost airlines. For example, Sky Europe is selling return tickets to London at CZK 2,000. However, those seeking the cheapest offers should hurry up because these tickets sell out quickly.

“We have recorded an increased demand for flights to London in the January period,” Sky Europe spokesman Tomáš Kika said. Czech Airlines and other European operators have come up with advantageous flights for the after-Christmas period as well

London full of good deals

Czechs have begun travelling abroad to shop, particularly to Germany, a few years ago already. But London is an exceptionally good deal this year. The pound cost some CZK 36 a year ago; now it is CZK 10 lower.

Great Britain is thus cheaper than ever for Czechs who can now afford to stay in better hotels, for instance. And a long time ago they have discovered that abroad, and in Britain specifically, designer clothes are available at just a fraction of the prices charged in the Czech Republic and that they can get there more modern goods including models that are unavailable on the Czech market.

“Czech shops usually sell older collections, and the present-day British fashion is less conservative compared with Czech fashion,” said language school teacher Lucie Beránková.

Through discounts, British retailers are also trying to attract Britons hit by the financial crisis: discounts are bigger than usual and have in many cases already started before Christmas. Czechs can therefore buy even electronics and luxury foodstuffs at favourable prices in London.

Discounts as a solution to crisis

Some stores have announced up to 70% discounts and their approach is bearing fruit: customers started to form long queues in front of London department stores right on the first day after Christmas holidays. But the discounts are definitely not over yet, as they usually last until the end of January.

Some Czechs take advantage of the better selection at UK stores even when doing shopping on the internet.

“I buy clothes over the internet in the British TopShop. Apart from a much bigger selection compared with Czech shops selling this brand, the goods are considerably cheaper there. And the postage fee is CZK 100,” Beránková said.

Translated with permission by the Prague Daily Monitor.