Jan Kotrbáček, Partner & Head of the CEE Retail Agency team, Cushman & Wakefield has said: “The retail market has endured plenty of trials and tribulations in recent years, but it clearly continues to attract shoppers – which is great news for retailers. Ongoing discussions with them at an international level have shown their positive sentiment in regard to the need to keep growing, upgrading their outlets, and promoting their brands. The traditional gateway for brands into the CEE region has proven to be the Czech Republic, because of its purchasing power and the continued popularity of Prague with international visitors, who are a major source of retail revenue.”
Fashion and household goods
A milestone for the Czech market last year was the opening of two luxury fashion boutiques by Balenciaga and Chanel on Prague’s Pařížská street. The fashion segment is well represented, whether in terms of clothing brands (e.g. Maje, Sandro, and Jacadi Paris this year), accessories and jewelry (Messika, Teilor), footwear (Buzz), or fashionable sportswear (JOTT, Sport Vision). The Sport Vision and Buzz brands replaced, respectively, A3 Sport and A3 CoOol shops on the Czech market last year following their acquisition by the Sport Vision Group.
The furniture, household goods, and electronics segment also featured prominently last year with eleven brands. Czechia attracted retailers dealing in furniture, such as Minotti and Stosa Cucine (kitchens), in mattresses, e.g. Dorelan and Materasso, HP in the field of electronics, Home&You and TecTake in household goods, and Tefal in kitchen equipment.
Notable mentions in other segments include the opening of the first Czech LEGO store, the Cappuccineria café, and the House of Julius Meinl delicatessen in the food and beverage segment.
French and Italian brands predominate
As in previous years, the vast majority of the brands chose Prague for their first Czech store – with sixteen being opened in shopping centers and fourteen on the capital’s high streets. Six stores can also be found in office buildings, where the openings include not only several showrooms of premium furniture retailers but also a fitness center and a café on account of their target clientele.
Among the new arrivals, the most strongly represented country was France, with most of its nine brands selling either clothing or accessories. An additional seven brands were Italian – mainly furniture and mattress dealers, along with two cafés.
Market activity continues unabated
Although the recent pandemic and associated restrictions on retail operations caused some apprehension about the future of the sector, brand activity in the Czech market continues unabated. Cushman & Wakefield’s Retail Agency team handled two hundred transactions last year, with a total area of approximately 60,000 sq m – a similar figure to the previous year. The team can already see a number of substantial transactions on the horizon this year too, among others in the food and beverage segment.
“The American fast food chain Popeyes will be opening its first restaurant in the Czech Republic, and its arrival on our market will be the biggest entry of an F&B player since 2017 when Pizza Hut reopened here. The launch of the first restaurant of the Italian chain Rossopomodoro in the Palladium shopping center and the entry of the Italian wine & food concept Signorvino will also be major events,” stated Kotrbáček.
Market activity will also be stimulated by some fresh, high-quality commercial developments that will offer new retail leasing opportunities. In Prague, the 100 Yards project is currently under construction on Na Příkopě street, and on Pařížská street the projects Pařížská 25 and Pařížská 30 (Fairmont Golden Prague Hotel) are set to open following renovation. The new multifunctional project Masaryčka is also scheduled to open and the Letňany Shopping Center will be expanded.
New retail space is being developed in Brno, too: the Šumavská Tower Shopping Gallery is to open there next year, and overall redevelopment work will begin on the site of the new multifunctional project Dornych, scheduled for completion in 2026.