Regardless of the problems that the measures related to the coronavirus crisis have brought to the retail segment – with shops in the Czech Republic closed for 234 days, the longest period in all of Europe – new brands keep coming to the local market.
Nine of them have arrived or will arrive during the first half of the year, the most prominent one of them being Ireland’s Primark fashion chain whose shop opening was expected with a great deal of anticipation.
This year’s first half has been the strongest in the past three years: six brands arrived in the country during the same period last year, and eight the year before.
Some of the shops opening now are ones whose launch was postponed due to the pandemic: Primark, Cinemax, and Mr. Jeff were waiting for the situation to stabilize and allow the start of operations.
“Retailers are well aware of the enduring potential of Prague’s centre, which has always been and will always be a sought-after tourist destination – and this major part of the local purchasing power will return as soon as it can. The local people’s purchasing power is growing too. The Czech Republic remains the perfect place for retail brands to expand,” said Jan Kotrbáček, Partner & Head of CEE Retail Agency team, Cushman & Wakefield.
Fashion, high street, Prague
Four out of this year’s nine brands are targeting the high street – the main shopping streets in city centres: three are coming to Prague and one to Karlovy Vary. Five of them will open their outlets in shopping centres – most of them in Prague, and Slovakia’s Cinemax cinema chain in Olomouc. The high street to shopping centre ratio is fairly balanced, and has been for a long time.
In line with another long-term trend, the most arrivals are in the fashion segment in this year’s first half. Versace opened its shop in Pařížská Street, marking the brand’s return to the Czech market (the brand’s shop used to be at U Prašné brány Street in the past). Opening its first shop in Prague, Dedoles, a Slovak manufacturer of socks, underwear and accessories, has already become a very successful concept: its 2020 revenue amounted to CZK 400 million and it sells goods to 600,000 customers in 20 countries now.
Two newly arriving brands are in the F&B segment: Poland’s Dobro & Dobro Cafe network has opened its first Czech establishment in Prague, as has Motiko, a Japanese dessert retailer. Russia’s Cozy Home is tapping into the trend of popularity for shopping for home equipment and accessories.
2021: more new brand arrivals to come
There are more retail brands that are planning to open their shops in the Czech Republic this year, many of them in the fashion segment, such as Chanel and Balenciaga (both in Pařížská), and Anson’s, Modivo and eObuv.cz in shopping centres; other planned arrivals include the Clever Fit fitness centres.
In all, the number of brands could be comparable to the preceding years – 25 brands arrived in 2020 and 24 did one year earlier.