The Czech Republic has the most e-shops per capita in the whole of Europe with 45,000 e-shops in operation by the end of 2020.
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted both the operation and development of retail real estate markets worldwide, as well as in the CEE-17 countries.
The Government restrictions imposed on the operation of shops, service outlets, gastronomy, entertainment, and leisure, have led to the dynamic growth of e-commerce sales and to changes in consumer behavior.
These have also contributed to a 20-45% (depending on the country) decline in footfall figures in shopping centres, when we compared data from the middle of 2020.
After the Czech Republic as a whole came through the first wave of COVID-19 with flying colours, retailers were looking forward to catching up in the autumn and Christmas seasons. However, as the second wave hit hard in October, the government reinstated the state of emergency and adopted the strategy of minimizing social contact.
Therefore, only the most essential stores were permitted to be open for a limited number of days per week and must ensure a certain person per square meter ratio, on top of the now common hygienic measures.
Non-essential retail was largely shut down but allowed to operate click & collect services. Due to the fact that a fairly large number of retailers are franchisers, their options for their own e-commerce operations could be limited. The Czech Republic has the most e-shops per capita in the whole of Europe with 45,000 e-shops estimated to be in operation by the end of 2020.
From various sources, it is estimated that e-commerce turnover will increase in 2020 by almost 20% Y-o-Y. Big e-shops like Alza.cz or Mall.cz are now trying to expand the range of goods offered to consumers, or are teaming up with other retailers to offer a wider range of products and services.
With the possible prolongation of the state of emergency into 2021, we are sure that the retail performance of 2021 will also be affected.