The high feast of the Catholic Church is also a high feast for domestic retailers. The Feast of the Immaculate Conception is considered one of the most important shopping days in the run-up to Christmas, so the cash registers are ringing accordingly.
After last year’s hard lockdown, the stars are once again aligning for lucrative profits, at least on the Corona front – if it weren’t for inflation, which is putting a massive damper on Austrians’ desire to store, and exorbitant energy prices, which make every store think twice about opening its doors at all.
Each company decides when to open its stores to make the chaos perfect for potential customers. The only legally fixed requirement is that stores can offer their services between 10 am and 6 pm.
According to the Austrian Shopping Center Association (ACSP), a few small, regionally significant shopping centers will remain closed – such as the Salzkammergut Einkaufspark SEP in Gmunden (Upper Austria).
Billa, Billa Plus, Bipa, and Penny generally give their employees the day off on December 8 – except where there is a contractual obligation to be open, for example, in shopping centers, train stations, and airports.
At Interspar, you can store everywhere in Austria, Spar, and Eurospar only at selected locations.
Hofer pauses nationwide without exception, Lidl almost without exception. Only the branch in Fohnsdorf in Styria is open because it is located in a shopping center. The drugstore chain DM is there for customers in 106 of 386 stores.
For example, many or most branches of Ankerbrot, Der Mann, Felber, and Ströck offer fresh pastries. However, you should check online in advance whether this also applies to your favorite bakery around the corner. A quick check on the Internet is also generally recommended for all other shopping excursions on this day.
Ikea, Kika, Leiner, Möbelix, Mömax, and XXXLutz are open from 10 am to 6 pm across the board. At Betten Reiter, on the other hand, all 18 branches will remain closed this year – “as a thank you for the employees and their competent and tireless efforts throughout the year,” as Managing Director Peter Hildebrand says.
H&M and P&C do not do things by halves and open all stores. Humanic and Palmers are following suit with almost all their stores.
Bauhaus and Hornbach take full advantage of the legal exemption and are there for their customers. Bellaflora and Obi close all locations. “All employees should have the opportunity to spend the day with their family and friends,” lets the DIY chain with the beaver mascot know.
Gigasport is open until 6 pm in all 16 branches, except in Bad Ischl (Upper Austria), where it closes at 5 pm. At Hervis, you can shop at 100 locations from 10 am to 6 pm as the mood takes you; the shutters stay down only in five stores.
MediaMarkt unsurprisingly lures shoppers throughout Austria with the latest technology for eight hours. Hartlauer does the same in 120 of its 160 stores. For example, stores in small towns and cities remain closed, where, according to Hartlauer, “the local environment is also usually closed and less used for shopping.” But beware: Hartlauer closes at 5 pm on December 8 – except in shopping centers, where the opening hours apply.
Drei locks up, as does Magenta (except: for the store in the Vienna T-Center). A1 cannot yet answer the question of whether. In the fight for more pay, employees could go on strike on December 8. If an agreement is reached, A1 will be open from 10 am to 6 pm – except for the stores in Lassallestraße in Vienna, Feldbach in Styria, Völkermarkt in Carinthia, and Itzling in Salzburg.
Libro and Pagro are open almost everywhere from 10 am to 6 pm, with only ten locations (5 x Libro, 5 x Pagro) not opening.
Thalia is open everywhere except Gmunden SEP and Linz Uni. However, in Bad Ischl and Grieskirchen (both in Upper Austria) and Amstetten (Lower Austria), stores close at 5 pm. On the other hand, the Thalia station stores in Vienna are open until 8 pm and 9 pm, respectively.
Tchibo is opening two-thirds of its stores. These are generally located in shopping centers and well-frequented street locations.
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