More ‘Market - Temples’

According to recent news, more shopping malls are to emerge in Prague over next months. It brings one to the question of heavyweight commerce in the Republic. What serves as a source for the current predictions is a press release from INCOMA Research Group, considering the state and prospects of shopping centers in the CR.

The group just announced results of a large- scale survey they conducted. The main statement is that the “hypermarket” sector is growing and about to grow. There are currently 250 shopping centers, fifty of them containing at least fifty different retainers. The most powerful part of the market are said to be clothes, shoes are second, computers third.

prague palladium Anyway, what matters for us Prago-centrists is that Prague hosts 38 percent of the centers. Speaking to people in their forties, you would be stunned by the changes the republic has gone through, concerning commerce. Today it’s hard to believe that some twenty years ago a whole slab block estate would be supplied with one middle- sized grocery store. Now the same area is often surrounded by several supermarkets and in case that would not be enough, there’s a hyper- one within reach.

Few years ago, two young filmmakers caused quite a controversy with Czech Dream, a documentary on a fake hypermarket campaign. Although the fact that ordinary people were used as unwilling participants on a sort of performance is questionable, it did shed light on a phenomenon. One could call it market culture or buydiction, whatever, I mean the tendency to experience the process of buying things as a highlight one one’s week, the best way to spend free time. It is not uncommon that families go on a ‘trip’ to a shopping center and spend an afternoon in the whirlwind of shops. Looking at things, trying them on.

It’s probably sad, but the past has shown that no acceptable way of regulation on people spending their money is at hand. The last thing a state is supposed to do is to tell people how to spend their free time.

What can be talked about is the question of wasting: food, plastic etc. The food chains might adjust their strategy so that large parts of their (over-) productions wouldn’t have to be thrown away for not being sold in time. But that’s another matter.

Not sure whether it ever was Prague’s dream, she will get more giant shopping centers. Two this year, seven more in foreseeable future. One thing’s for sure: if your idea of a good day out is going through various products in carefully designed surroundings, Prague will be at your service.

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