As shops shut their doors on Sunday under government orders, people flocked to petrol stations to buy alcohol, cigarettes, and flowers.
Petrol stations in the Czech Republic saw an increased demand of up to ten per cent for non-fuel goods on Sunday, as they were exempt from the restrictions introduced last week alongside pharmacies and shops at airports or railway stations.
According to a selection of gas station operators, they were prepared for more customers and so did not experience any problems.
“Within our network of filling stations, we recorded a double turnover of additional sales compared to Sunday, October 25. The largest increase in sales was in the category of alcoholic beverages, it was fivefold.
According to him, the company also recorded an increase in the sale of snacks. This is despite the fact that it is limited to takeaway only and is prohibited at night from 20:00 to 06:00. “Despite the restrictions in force, we also recorded a third increase in sales in this area,” said Benzina spokesman Michal Procházka.
Co-owner Jiří Ondra of the Tank ONO network also noted a marked surge in interest. “For our company, the overall increase was about a quarter. The main difference was in cigarettes, where the increase was about 60 percent, and in alcoholic and soft drinks, where the increase was about 40 percent,” he said.
Petr Šindler, a spokesman for Shell, said that their network of Billa Stop & Shop recorded increased traffic and sales turnover at its pumps on Sunday. He added that alongside alcohol and cigarettes, people used petrol stations to buy fresh food.
“More and more customers come to the gas station on foot or by bike to buy items from the range of basic foodstuffs that they currently run out of in the household,” Šindler said. “This trend was very visible last Sunday.”
On October 26, the government announced that all supermarket’s and mini markets would not be allowed to open on Sundays. For the rest of the week, they can only serve customers until 19:57pm.