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Prague City Centre - A Mirror Of Czech Retail
28 Aug, 2005, Prague
Two large H&M fashion outlets, France's Sephora cosmetics, a Marks & Spencer department store offering a broad range of goods, the refurbished Rokoko arcade, a conceptual Puma store - these are just a few examples of the brands that have recently been changing the face of Wenceslas Square and Na Príkopê street. Clearance shops offering second-rate goods are thus being gradually dislodged from the capital's centre.
"The so-called 'golden cross' has been gradually becoming precisely what it should be - a showcase of the Czech Republic. In the centre of every world metropolis people seek out stores with the best products retail operators can offer. The arrival of prestigious global brands ignites the interest of other brand-name retail operators who have not so far been represented in the Czech Republic, and with their arrival the magnificence and exclusivity of Prague's centre is further enhanced," says Jan Kotrbá?ek of Cushman & Wakefield Healey & Baker, which has actively participated in leasing out this space.
In spring the Swedish fashion company H&M opened two large outlets in the centre of Prague at the same time. A huge family concept comprising more than 2,000 sq m in the Myslbek arcade (Na Príkop ê street) which has replaced a Marks & Spencer outlet. A 'trendy' concept with an area of 900 sq m focusing on young, fashion-conscious people on the ground floor of the Forum building on the corner of Wenceslas Square and Jindrišská Street. The building has undergone extensive refurbishment and opened its doors to the public in the spring of this year.
France's Sephora perfumery has also opened a shop in the centre of Prague on the ground floor of the Forum.
"Other changes have taken place on Wenceslas Square. A new tenant in the refurbished Melantrich building is the famous British department store Marks & Spencer. Offering more than 3,500 sq m and arranged on four floors, its flagship store offers household goods as well as clothes, and also contains a food hall," says Jan Kotrbácek, who specialises in leasing retail space in city centres.
The nearby Rokoko arcade has undergone a general refurbishment. A new hotel with a café has opened here, with customers being attracted by shops selling healthy lifestyle goods, brain-teasers, gift articles, and a florist's. An area of almost 1,000 sq m has been leased by A3 Sport, specialising in Adidas, Nike, Reebok and other brands.
"As early as September the mobile operator Oskar will open a representation shop in the Mango building in Na Príkopê street. However, Na Príkopê is primarily a dominant destination for high-quality fashion brands - as evidenced, for instance, by a newly originated conceptual PUMA unit offering more than 200 sq m. It will be a 'one of its kind' store in the Czech Republic and will offer a special collection of fashion goods. Customers can look forward to seeing this store opened in September," says Jan Kotrbácek, who has brought both brands to Na Príkopê.
"Global brands are showing an enormous interest in leasing space in Prague's city centre. Prime retail space is however limited and the soaring demand for retail space at prestigious addresses has led to many brands wiling to pay current tenants compensation for early vacation of leased space," notes Martin Zízala, head of the C&W/H&B retail agency team.
Extension of the shopping zone in the city centre will be significantly enhanced by the unique Palladium project on námestí Republiky, scheduled to open its gates in the autumn of 2007. The project, being constructed on the site of a former barracks, will offer a great mix of shopping and dining possibilities over an area of almost 40,000 sq m.
"With its orientation, amenities and capacity for further parking spaces right in the city centre it will be a natural continuation of Na Príkopê street. Seventy per cent of the retail space has already been let and we expect that by the time of opening it will be leased out," adds Martin Zízala, whose team has been exclusively instructed to lease the Palladium retail space.
"We believe that the centre of Prague will become a pleasant shopping destination in the heart of Europe. But there is still a lot of work to do: improving the quality of retail brands and services for city centre visitors, improving security and many other things," Kotrbácek adds.
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