October 28 is Independent Czechoslovak State Day, and most large stores over 200 square meters will close due to the law passed in 2016.
Pharmacies, gas stations, and stores in airports, hospitals and train stations are not included in the law. Stores under 200 square meters, such as local grocery stores, can also remain open.
Legally, all retail spaces over 200m2, except wholesale, will have to be closed on this day, as during most other national holidays.
Thus, many brands including Globus, Kaufland or Lidl, are warning their customers to make sure that all their shopping is done ahead of time. Billa will also have to close all their large locations, but their smaller Billa stop&shop stores at gas stations will stay open.
Many shopping centres will also experience a forced day-off, such as Arkády Pankrác or Novo Plaza in Prague. Others chose to leave some of their retail spaces open, and have usually released a list of individual closed stores on their websites.
While business owner associations have repeatedly criticized the law, trade unionists are campaigning to extend this regulation to all 13 Czech national holidays.
The law covers the following public holidays:
- 1st January,
- Easter Monday,
- 8th May (the Victory Day),
- 28th September (Day of St. Vaclav / Czech Statehood Day),
- 28th October (Independent Czechoslovak State Day),
- 25th and 26th December (Christmas Holidays).
Violators of the law can face fines up to Kč 1 million, and some fines have been levied in the past.