Prague - The price remains the main factor for shoppers in the Czech Republic as well as in the rest of Europe when they go to a shopping centre, according to the latest European study conducted by the property consultant CBRE.
Europeans are increasingly preferring small shopping centres and brick-and-mortar shops to shopping malls, the former visited by 49 percent and the latter by 47 percent of respondents.
From a regional point of view, Western European countries prefer small centres and brick-and-mortar shops, while the east of Europe and Scandinavia prefer shopping galleries, said Veronika Tebichova of CBRE.
Other important factors are cleanliness of the shopping centre, shopping in comfort and safe shopping as well as a variety of services and shops in a particular place.
Shopping distance also plays a role. Europeans need six to 15 minutes on average to get to a shop where they buy products other than food, and in the Czech Republic it takes 16 to 30 minutes, said Tebichova.
The poll showed that people in Europe usually do big shopping 39 times a year, while Czechs 30 times a year.
CBRE said the Czech retail market is almost saturated and that there is not much room for new shopping centres.
According to Tebichova, investments in renovation and regeneration of shopping facilities will become increasingly important. Bigger changes are necessary after 10 years of operations, and polls show that renovated centres are more attractive for shoppers, she said.
She sees a bigger potential in small projects in regions with a sales area of up to 10,000 square metres.
Fashion shops make up 56 percent of the sales area in the ten monitored regional shopping centres in the Czech Republic. Shops selling leisure equipment account for 18 percent of the area.
Retail space in Czech shopping malls is estimated to top 2.5 million square metres next year.
Prague ranks first in this respect, with 785,000 square metres of retail space.
The town of Liberec in northern Bohemia is a leader in terms of retail space per capita, with 1,440 square metres per 1,000 inhabitants. Usti nad Labem has the lowest rate of 440 square metres per 1,000 inhabitants.
A total of 21,000 respondents from 21 countries participated in the survey entitled How Consumers Shop.