Whilst sex shops in the Czech Republic still retain a sort of taboo, both customers and shopping centre owners are beginning to perceive them as interesting additions to the high street.
The market for erotic goods has made huge progress in the
last twenty years. Whereas previously it was associated primarily with porn tape rentals and men prevailed amongst their customers, these days the product range is oriented more towards cosmetics, erotic lingerie, pheromone perfumes, massage oils, erotic
aids and toys. The clientele has changed dramatically as well. Women or couples account for 80 percent of customers nowadays, says Ivan Michnevic from Cushman & Wakefield's Retail Team.
However many landlords still refuse to let shops
selling erotic goods into their centres, for various reasons. The most common reasons cited are concerns about the response of customers or adjacent shop owners. With some centres, this may also stem from their codes of conduct that preclude such ranges
International sex shop companies have had little impact in the Czech Republic. There is only one firm in our country that has been capable of building a network of shops all over the country under the Erotic City brand. Its
competitors are individual shops which, however, are not networked. At this point, we have no knowledge of any international chain preparing to come to the Czech Republic, says Ivan Michnevic.
Erotic City has 75 shops in the Czech Republic
today, 11 of which are in shopping centres. For the future, the company plans on further expansion into shopping centres in the Czech Republic as well as Slovakia.
I am convinced that the Erotic City concept in shopping centres is decent and
does not agitate anyone. We have encountered no negative responses from landlords or centre management in the shopping centres where our outlets are located, says Vladimir Jelinek, Development Director of City Relax, the operator of the Erotic City