US brands have thrived on the Czech market for many years, with Victoria’s Secret now set to open its first store


Dozens of leading American brands have established themselves on the Czech market over the past decade – many of them in the fashion industry, although other market segments are represented too. Some of the high-profile names here include Gap, Foot Locker, Polo Ralph Lauren, Skechers, Steve Madden, Tiffany & Co., Under Armour and Yankee Candle. In the F&B sector these are joined by Domino’s, Pizza Hut, and now also Popeyes, which plans to expand into Czechia this year. In May we will also see the highly anticipated arrival of the popular lingerie retailer Victoria’s Secret.

Victoria’s Secret is a brand that has long been in high demand but missing on the Czech market. It is America’s largest lingerie retailer, with more than 1,000 stores worldwide. Until now, its products could only be bought here in the transit area of Václav Havel Airport. The company’s first real Czech store is to open in Prague’s Westfield Chodov shopping centre in May this year.

Jan Kotrbáček, Partner & Head of the CEE Retail Agency team, Cushman & Wakefield: “Victoria’s Secret is a hugely successful brand all around the world for a whole range of reasons. Among other things, it offers sophisticated, ever-evolving, trendy and highly fashionable products and designs at an affordable price and in a very attractive environment. Its products are not only beautiful but also functional, and this makes them highly desirable for customers. The brand is also driven by inspiring store design and strong product storytelling, reinforced by world-famous fashion shows which are some of the most followed and shared events on social media. Its stores attract very high foot traffic, are highly “instagrammable”, and generate a lot of attention. This makes them the type of sought-after tenants that shopping centres want to have in their mix to cater to all the customers who crave the brand. By constantly coming up with new collections, products and store designs, the company can continually offer its customers something new, thus maintaining its store traffic, appeal and sales at a very high level. Its stores are always one of the centrepieces and primary attractions of shopping centres and the high street.”

New brands are drawn to Czechia by its well-developed market and purchasing power

Some of the most popular US brands with a long-term presence on the Czech market are Nike, Levi’s, Tommy Hilfiger, Michael Kors, Adidas and Calvin Klein. Of these, most opened their Czech flagship store on Prague’s Na Příkopě Street, which is the busiest shopping street in the CEE region. In terms of rent, it is also one of the priciest main streets in the Czech Republic and the CEE as a whole – for many years it was in first place, before shifting to second this year behind Pařížská Street[1].

Jan Kotrbáček, Partner & Head of the CEE Retail Agency team, Cushman & Wakefield: “The Czech Republic offers one of the most attractive retail environments for multinational corporations in the fashion industry and other sectors, primarily because of the top-quality tenant mix combined with very strong business performance. The abundance of global companies here is the natural outcome of long-term growth in the purchasing power of the Czech population, along with the development of a business climate in which companies can prosper. At the same time, the Czech Republic, and Prague in particular, are major European and global travel destinations, where tourists account for a significant share of foreign stores’ clientele. This is especially true in the centre of Prague and at major shopping centres, which is where newly-arrived brands usually launch their first stores, before expanding to other Czech cities.”

Restaurants are flourishing here too

The same also holds true for the global restaurant chains entering Czechia from all over the world, with most of the biggest names once again coming from America. Previous arrivals such as Domino’s, Pizza Hut, and the Cinnabon bakery, are scheduled to be joined here this year by the fried chicken restaurant Popeyes.

Jan Kotrbáček, Partner & Head of the CEE Retail Agency team, Cushman & Wakefield: “Popeyes will be a great addition to our already well-established fast food brands, such as KFC, Burger King, and of course McDonalds, the first global chain to come over from America, which recently celebrated 30 years on the Czech market.”

The key to long-term market success is constant innovation, and that is something which the American brands above excel at – an example for others to follow. It is rare to find a US brand that did not succeed on the Czech market. One company that did exit the country is the clothing retailer Forever 21, which ran into financial difficulties worldwide five years ago, closed roughly a third of its stores across 40 countries, and is now focusing on its profitable US stores and online sales.

[1] Main Streets across the World: