EN | CS
Erotic goods find their way into shopping centres
14 Nov, 2011, Prague
In an attempt to expand the product range offered, shopping centre owners are now bringing in types of goods that used to be sold exclusively in brick-and-mortar shops previously. Erotic goods are an example of such goods. While they still retain a sort of taboo, both customers and shopping centre owners are beginning to perceive them as interesting additions. Erotic shops are more common in shopping centres abroad, whereas in the Czech Republic this was unthinkable just five years ago.
“The market for erotic goods has made huge progress in the last twenty years. Whereas previously it was associated primarily with porn tape rentals and men prevailed amongst their customers, these days the product range is oriented more towards cosmetics, erotic lingerie, pheromone perfumes, massage oils, erotic aids and toys. The clientele has changed dramatically as well. Women or couples account for 80 percent of customers nowadays,” says Ivan Michněvič from Cushman & Wakefield’s Retail Team.
Development is also apparent when it comes to outlet design. All shops – those in the streets as well as those in shopping centres – have shop windows modified in accordance with law so that the interior cannot be seen. Whereas previously the taped up windows blocked the view, these days window dressers can choose goods from the product range that can be displayed in shop windows.
At the same time, many landlords refuse to let shops selling erotic goods into their centres, for various reasons. The most common reasons cited are concerns about the response of customers or adjacent shop owners. With some centres, this may also stem from their codes of conduct that preclude such ranges of goods.
“The market for erotic goods is rather specific, in that customers are loyal to their brands, and tapping a market is difficult for international companies. Czechs are also conservative in this respect. There is only one firm in our country that has been capable of building a network of shops all over the country under the Erotic City brand. Its competitors are individual shops which, however, are not networked. At this point, we have no knowledge of any international chain preparing to come to the Czech Republic,” says Ivan Michnevic.
“The sales of erotic goods in Western Europe are integrated more commonly into people’s lives. I am convinced that the Erotic City concept in shopping centres is decent and does not agitate anyone. We have encountered no negative responses from landlords or centre management in the shopping centres where our outlets are located,” says Vladimír Jelínek, Development Director of City Relax, the operator of the Erotic City shops.
Erotic City has 75 shops in the Czech Republic today, 11 of which are in shopping centres. For the future, the company plans on further expansion into shopping centres in the Czech Republic as well as Slovakia.
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