Hyper new from Prague

By: trademagazin Date: 2007. 06. 27. 08:00

I am prejudiced towards Prague. It is not the price of beer, the beauty of the old city or their national food which makes me envy the people, who are fortunate enough to live there. My local friends always get angry when I call this city “medieval Disneyland”, though my intention is to emphasise that Prague represents the exact opposite of American culture. It is Central European humour and civilisation like which make Prague such an enjoyable place. In American culture, things are either black or white and humour is rather simple. If you have seen Borat in the cinema, you know what I mean. American culture however, is already here and I am not complaining. In the Czech Republic, all retail chains like Interspar, Metro (Makro), or Globus celebrated birthdays in May. Instead of focusing on consumers, they only managed to come up with this rather boring idea. The Czech retail business started building up the market a few years after Hungary. If you visit Prague, you can see that they have made enormous progress and left us behind. When Pólus Center and Duna Plaza opened, Czechs were only dreaming about malls, while today international chains like Ahold (Hypernova and Albert), Schwarz (Kaufland and Lidl), Tesco, Rewe (Billa and Penny), Metro (Makro), Globus, Kaufland, Spar (Interspar and Spar Sumava) are engaged in murderous competition. Carrefour and Edeka have already given up. Local chains have been dwarfed. Nothing like Coop or CBA exists in the Czech Republic. In the western part of Prague, there is a circle with a radius of 2 kilometres where you can find 5 hyper markets and 5 supermarkets. There is nothing very special about local stores. They could be in Germany or the Netherlands. The assortment of beers is incredible though. Foreign brands are marginal in this market, where per capita consumption of beer is the highest in the world. It is a mystery how, but we can get a half litre bottle for a mere HUF 45. Customers are relaxed and happy. The economy is prospering. The Czechs may even hold Olympic games sometime in the future.

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