Either your America is showing, or perhaps you are simply messing with me. Today is one of your holidays (Immaculate Conception), and I know how the country embraces closing its stores (except for most restaurants, because someone needs to serve those who are enjoying the day off), so I did a double-take this morning when I read that STORES. ARE. OPEN.

Well, sort of. 39 of the 40 stores in the shopping complex near my house are open. One can grab running shoes at the sports store and a few Christmas baubles at the home decorating store, and perhaps a quick hair trim at the salon, but a carton of milk? Nope. The Spar chain of grocery stores (like the one in the complex) is closed today.

Well, not quite. The Spar grocery stores are only closed in the 18th and 19th districts of Vienna.
The Billa chain of grocery stores are closed today all across Vienna. Equal treatment across the districts.

No worries, though, and no need for those of us in the shunned districts to slog to a train station market for our bread and milk. The Merkur grocery stores are open across the city!

So to simplify this crazy math problem, by and large, retail stores are open across Vienna on this particular religious holiday, including the large shopping malls; however, only certain grocery stores and in certain districts are open. Irrespective of the uncertainty with opening hours, I am certain the proximity to Christmas (and all that consumerism revenue) has nothing to do with this equation.