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Van Graaf to open shopping house in Prague

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A new fashion chain is coming to the Czech Republic. The German chain van Graaf will open its flagship at the bottom of Wenceslas Square. The company has announced the plan on its web site. The company will offer men’s and women’s clothing in 12, 000 square metres of space. “Van Graaf will reside in the recently reconstructed building Práce. According to the latest information, it should open in the autumn,” said Sylvie Samadi from international real estate company Jones Lang LaSalle.

Van Graaf belongs to the Peek & Cloppenburg KG, which owns a number of shops and rents large retail spaces in shopping centres in Germany and in other European countries. The group has only been represented by the Peek & Cloppenburg brand in Brno shopping centre Vaňkovka but also opened a shop in the new Prague Pankrác shopping centre Arkády in November. Van Graaf will be the first shopping house of the company in the Czech Republic.

Peek & Cloppenburg has lately been expanding mostly in central Europe. The company already has six shopping centres in Poland and plans this year to expand to Hungary and should also open a shop in Moscow in spring.

Van Graaf shopping houses offer its own label alongside dozens of other international brands from the medium price category up to the expensive ones, including Bugatti, Joop and Lagersfeld. “Since Van Graaf is a big customer, it can offer designer clothes for lower prices,” said Samadi.

Analysts agree that the city centre is the only favourable location for retail construction. While a great number of shopping centres has sprung up in the capital, the concept of a shopping house is still represented only by Kotva and Tesco on Národní Třída, both buildings that were build during communism.

Another shopping house should be established on Na Příkopě in the former ČSOB headquarters. The development company Lordship, which is currently reconstructing the building, has not yet announced the chain that will run it. The owner of the German network Karstadt Quelle has expressed interest in the Prague location.

Translated with permission by the Prague Daily Monitor.

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