BUILDING WORLD magazine:
The season of shopping centres continues
Retail spaces in the Czech Republic exceeded the magical mark of two million square metres at the end of November. There were an additional 170 thousand of them in the autumn alone. Eight new shopping centres and several retail parks opened their doors.
In Prague customers welcomed the long-awaited Arkády Pankrác shopping centre, another stage of Nisa Liberec and OC Olympia Teplice were completed, Vysočina obtained its first shopping centre with City Park Jihlava, AIG Lincoln launched the Campus Square shopping park in Brno and Oaza Kladno, AFI Palace Pardubice and Futurum Kolín were also completed.
A record number of new shopping centres, the preparation of which began in the period of economic prosperity, optimism and trust in the growth of consumption, are coming on the market at a time when the world is being battered by a financial crisis, economic growth is deciling and people no longer leave the shops "with bags full of purchases". Merchants already confirmed the partial market slowdown this September.
The pre-Christmas fever has once again initiated the desire to shop, thought not to such an extent as in previous years. Thus only the best have a chance to succeed. Only the future will show who that will be.
City Park Jihlava
On 24 October, when City Park was opened in the centre of Jihlava, a white space on the map of Czech shopping centres disappeared. Jihlava lies in the heart of the Vysočina Region, which was almost untouched by retail expansion until now when it received its first temple of entertainment and shopping.
A total of 114 shops, the full assortment of the Interspar hypermarket and the CineStar Cineplex with 4 screens for 501 filmgoers arose on 26,000 m² of space. The shopping possibilities of Jihlava with a population of sixty thousand has been broadened with the well-established New Yorker and C&A fashion chains as well as the more luxurious Marks & Spencer concept, Hervis sports and Datart electronics. According to Martin Jaroš, the Direcotr of PSJ Invest, which is the developer of the project, they managed to even get brand names for Jihlava that are not yet operating in the Czech Republic, including Cecil (women's fashion), French girl's and women's fashions Jennyfer, Italy's L´Officina della Moda, Puntanela Fashion children's clothing, or the German lingerie shop Sassa.
A unique fountain from the workshop of architect Ivan Kroupa, a professor of the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design, is the dominant feature of the mall. Thus in addition to the prestigious brands the developer also spiced up its project with a dash of genuine art.