Let's keep it open

Initiative against the ban on Sunday sales


Michal Hornický
Iva Hornická Pacoňová
Martin Piteľ
Peter Bujalko


PROKOP 3rd place

Initiative in the news

TV Markíza (Televízne Noviny, Reflex), TA3, Nový čas, Denník N, Plus Jeden Deň, Pravda...

The spread of COVID-19 has had a severe impact on the businesses from the very beginning. Many suffered losses, faced layoffs and found themselves on the brink of bankruptcy. At that time members of parliament from both Smer-SD and ĽSNS independently proposed 2 bills to prohibit Sunday sales. However, Sunday sales would have been a chance for many establishments to make up for the losses caused by the corona crisis and to keep people employed. That is why we have decided to publicly stand up for retailers and create a PR campaign to prevent a law banning Sunday sales from being passed.

In May, a survey by the 2muse agency appeared in the media, according to which 80% of the Slovak population agrees with the closure of retail stores on Sundays even after the end of pandemic. It was this result that indicated to us that people believed the policymakers. Politicians presented the law as a tool that would allow employees spend more time with their families or in the outdoors. In reality, however, many would lose their jobs.

In order to make the public aware of the negatives associated with the Sunday sales ban, we decided to expand the topic. So that it doesn’t just concern store employees. We highlighted the fact that a ban on Sunday sales would affect the rights and freedoms of all citizens.

The main communication tool of the initiative has become the petition website www.nechajmetootvorene.sk and the associated FB and IG profiles.

In the communication we pointed out myths and facts related to the topic and explained them in greater detail. The Initiative quickly became a relevant source of information, which made us known to the public and businesses, and caught the attention of journalists, who invited us to participate in live debates and news reports.

An important part of the campaign involved real stories of store owners and employees, doctors, students and others who would be adversely affected by the Sunday sales ban. We published these stories on the website and social media, from where they were picked up by a number of media outlets.

Brick-and-mortar outlets also served as a medium to spread awareness about the Initiative. Those who expressed interest were sent a sticker to showcase their stance on the issue. Online users could publicly express their support for the Initiative by changing the frame on their FB profile picture or by signing a petition on the website.

In order to get the attention of politicians, we became active discussants in the comment section below their posts. As a result, some of them publicly supported us or quoted us during the parliament debates.

Our social media posts have reached over 442,750 people organically and generated a media value of more than € 100,000. In one month of communication, we appeared in 25 media outlets, including TV News and Reflex on Markíza, a discussion in TA3 or an article in Novy Čas. We also helped prevent laws from being passed and changed public opinion. While in May 80 % of population agreed to keep stores closed even after the pandemic, in June the public was already divided into two equal groups. And if an employee could exercise a conscientious objection, 69 % of respondents would keep stores open on Sundays.