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Golden triangle takes top shopping spot


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Historic buildings and narrow lanes add to high-street success

Prague has the strongest high-street shopping in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), excluding Austria, and demand for retail space is growing steadily, with rent costing two or three times more than the most expensive units in the capital's best shopping centers.

Wenceslas Square and Na Příkopě street are the most important high streets in the Visegrad Four countries (Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary), while Pařížská street has the most luxury brands of any other high street in the region, new data from research company Jones Lang LaSalle shows.

The Cartier boutique on Pařížská, which will celebrate its fifth anniversary this year, was one of the pioneering brands on the now-exclusive shopping strip.

"The development of Pařížská street never fails to impress me," said Patricia Gandji, managing director for Cartier Northern Europe. "This street offers an extraordinary mixture of innovative, modern multibrand boutiques and prestigious luxury mono-brand boutiques, which is really unique in Europe."

The 2 kilometers of clothing chains on Wenceslas Square and Na Příkopě street form the main retail high street in Prague, with retailers often referring to this area as the "golden triangle" due to its lucrative location and the physical restrictions of the area, which enhance foot traffic and drive up sales.

"Retailers benefit from the fact that Prague is more compact with a pedestrian downtown combining the tourists, business community and residents of the city center," said Beatrice Mouton, CEE retail regional director at Jones Lang LaSalle.

The shopping district's success also lies in its established history as a shopping destination, Filip Kolmer, consultant from Jones Lang LaSalle, said.

"Before the revolution, there were no malls. This was the first place where department stores opened, and people were willing to travel for that. It's been a popular shopping destination ever since," he said.

Prague's high street is also easily accessible by public transport, unlike other CEE countries where the shopping thoroughfares are not as developed.

"Prague, with both Na Příkopě as a high street and Pařížská street being home to the luxury brands, is an absolute exception in the post-communist countries in Central Europe," Mouton said.

"In nearly all CEE and Southeast European capitals, shopping malls dominate the retail market in city centers," she added.

Budapest's main shopping drag, Váci Utca, and Marszalkowska in Warsaw are improving but do not have the same geographic benefits as Prague, Mouton said.

"Warsaw was destroyed during World War II and rebuilt afterward, and its downtown is more spread out than Prague and not such a strong tourist destination," she said.

Demand for retail space on Prague's high streets is particularly strong among brands already on the Czech market, Kolmer said.

"Brands that are interested in securing retail space on the high streets will often offer one-time financial incentives to existing retailers in order to take over their space," Kolmer said.

Rental levels have increased steadily over the years alongside the growing retail demand, with the most sought-after locations being along Na Příkopě and the lower part of Wenceslas square, especially the northeast side.

The rent for a prime unit of 100 square meters along the golden triangle remains 180 euros per square meter per month (4,453 Kč/$238), which is two to three times more than the most expensive units in the best shopping centers in Prague.

Since many shops on Wenceslas Square and Na Příkopě are high-profile flagship stores, these high-street retail spaces are not only the most sought-after in CEE excluding Austria but also the most expensive.

Author: Chief Editor

Category: Shopping and Services Viewed: 1058 times
Username: editor1al Listing Ref: 734725375
Date of Listing: 17 May 2012, 18:00:26

Golden triangle takes top shopping spot


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