As tourists return, Prague’s high end retailers rejoice

Prague remains the home of Central and Eastern Europe’s most exclusive shopping street, Pařížská.

Home to Balenciaga, Burberry, Cartier, Gucci, Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Prada and many, many other high-end fashion and jewellery brands, elegant Pařížská in Prague was this week revealed to be the most expensive shopping street in Central and Eastern Europe, and 17th in the world. 

According to Main Streets on the World, a survey of best-in-class urban locations in 47 countries around the world carried out by Cushman and Wakefield, a real estate agency, annual rents on Pařížská climbed to 2,719 euros per square metre the third quarter of this year, or approximately 227 euros per square metre a month. The most expensive was New York’s Fifth Avenue, where annual rents top 21,076 euros per square metre. 

“Pařížská has no rival in Central and Eastern Europe,” says Jan Kotrbáček, head of CEE retail at Cushman and Wakefield. “The next regional contender in the ranking is Budapest’s Váci utca in 29th place.” 

Only one street out of each country appears in the ranking – that with the highest rent. The amount is crucial for each location, as it determines the attractiveness and business potential for tenants.  

Pařížská is not, however, the only retail destination in the Czech Republic to reach values comparable with leading Western European locations. At 205 euros per square metre a month, Na Příkopě is comparable to premium retail streets in Copenhagen, Barcelona and Amsterdam, while it outperforms others (Oslo, Stockholm and Luxembourg).  

Wenceslas Square follows closely behind Na Příkopě, as it works hard to make its retail environment more attractive. 

Both premier Prague streets are attractive to prestigious retail brands and each of them has a specific tenant mix that draws a different breed of customers.  

Whereas Na Příkopě attracts mainstream and slightly premium clients – and thus also brands that target them – thanks to its position in the busiest and most visited location in the country, Pařížská retains its image as a destination for the premium and luxury segment. This is also aided by the limited supply of retail space, which influences the growth of rents.  

“The attractiveness of both destinations is borne out by the unrelenting demand among top retail brands,” adds Kotrbáček. “On Pařížská, Chanel, Balenciaga and ALO Diamonds opened new stores this year, and more will arrive with the completion of the Pařížská 25 and Pařížská 30 (Fairmont Golden Prague Hotel) projects, which will increase the amount of modern retail space available.” 

Tourists return

Czechia – and with it Prague’s retailers – should benefit from the return of foreign tourists following the slowdown caused by the Covid-19 pandemic; tourists have always been a crucial source of retail income for the city.  

The latest data from the Czech Statistical Office indicates that tourists are slowly returning, in particular to Prague. The number of guests staying in accommodation facilities in Prague reached 80 per cent of 2019 levels in the third quarter of this year, with the situation is set to improve further according to projections from online hospitality platforms. 

“The factors that caused the number of shoppers in Prague’s prime retail streets to decrease are primarily external: anti-pandemic restrictions, travel restrictions, and inflation,” says Kotrbáček. 

“There is no need to worry about the future of Prague’s city centre as a premium retail destination – the supply of quality brands and services will continue expanding.” 

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