Balenciaga, Chanel, Lego among dozens of brands that came to Czechia last year

Some 38 brands opened their first Czech shops in 2022, most of them in the fashion and accessories sector.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 10.01.2023 08:30:00 (updated on 10.01.2023) Reading time: 3 minutes

The Czech retail market added 38 new brands last year, with 34 of them opening their first stores in Prague. Several more high-profile brands have already announced their intention to come to Czechia this year, as well.

The number of new brands to launch in 2022 was the same as in 2021, according to a market analysis from consultancy Cushman & Wakefield. These figures are a large increase over 2019 when 22 brands entered the Czech market, and in 2020 when it was 25 brands.

“The retail market has endured plenty of trials and tribulations in recent years, but it continues to attract shoppers – which is great news for retailers. Ongoing discussions with them at an international level have shown their positive sentiment as regards the need to keep growing, upgrading their outlets, and promoting their brands,” Jan Kotrbáček, partner and head of Cushman & Wakefield’s CEE retail agency team, said in a press release.

Kotrbáček added that Czechia is often used by brands as a gateway to entering the Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) region. The reason is the relatively high purchasing power and Prague’s popularity with international tourists.

One-third of new brands in fashion

About a third of the new brands come from the fashion, accessory, and jewelry sectors. Significant events last year included the opening of fashion boutiques by high-end Spanish brand Balenciaga and French brand Chanel on Pařížská Street in Prague. In terms of rent, Pařížská also became the Czech capital’s most expensive street, displacing Na Příkopě which had long held the top spot.

Chanel store on Pařížská Street. Photo: Raymond Johnston.
Chanel store on Pařížská Street. Photo: Raymond Johnston.

Other fashion, accessory, and sportswear brands to launch last year included Maje, Sandro, Jacadi Paris, Messika, Teilor, Buzz, Jott, and Sport Vision.

Another 11 brands came from furniture, household goods, and electronics: kitchen outfitters Minotti and Stosa Cucine, kitchen equipment retailer Tefal, bedding sellers Dorelan and Materasso, electronics firm HP, household goods brands Home&You and TecTake. In the food and beverage sector, two cafe chains launched: Caffé Pascucci and Cappuccineria.

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First official Lego store opens

The first Lego store opened at Prague’s Westfield Chodov shopping mall in November. This may come as a surprise, as Prague has long had a Lego Museum, but that establishment showcases a private collection. Lego bricks have been manufactured in Kladno in Central Bohemia since 2000. Czechia is the largest exporter of toys in Europe, due mainly to Lego kits.

House of Julius Meinl, a company generally associated with food retail, moved into a new area by opening The Julius in Prague in April, an accommodation facility more similar to apartment living than a hotel. It offers five-star hotel services as well as the option to cook in your own suite.

Most brands chose Prague for their first Czech store, with 16 opening in shopping centers, 14 on shopping streets, and six in office buildings. Companies from France had the largest presence among new brands, while Italy had seven.

For this year, the American fast-food chain Popeyes will be opening its first restaurant in the Czech Republic. “Its arrival on our market will be the biggest entry of an F&B player since 2017 when Pizza Hut reopened here,” Kotrbáček said.

The arrival of Italian restaurant chain Rossopomodoro and Italian wine and food shop Signorvino will also be significant events, he added.

New retail spaces coming

New retail spaces will also open in 2023. In Prague, the 100 Yards project is currently under construction on Na Příkopě street. On Pařížská street the projects Pařížská 25 and Pařížská 30 are set to open following renovation. The Masaryčka project at Masarykovo nádraží should open this year, and the Letňany shopping mall will be expanded.

In Brno, a new shopping gallery is opening in the Šumavská Tower. It will gradually offer up to 6,000 square meters of rentable area. Some shops such as a Lidl supermarket are already open.

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