Over the last 20 years Czechs have embraced consumer culture in a big way, with a great number of shopping centres, both city centre and out-of-town, now dotted around the country. To discuss how the experience of shopping has been transformed – and how range and price now compare to other countries – I met up with former Elle editor Jana Cíglerová at Prague’s Palladium shopping centre, a short walk from Wenceslas Square.
Three thousand people attended a five-hour-plus marathon of TV advertisements at a multiplex cinema at Prague’s Slovanský Dům on Friday night. Noc reklamožroutů (Night of the Ad-Eaters) this year featured over 500 adverts from various decades and different parts of the world. The event is being repeated in Brno next weekend.
One of the biggest book events in the Czech Republic was held in the town of Havlíčkův Brod, in eastern Bohemia, at the weekend. The 19th Autumn Book Fair brought together more than 150 publishers from across the country, and attracted some 15,000 visitors. In spite of the economic crisis and competition from other media, Czechs seem to stick to books, no matter what.
With the fall of communism, it was not long before foreign investors began taking an interest in Czechoslovakia. This ranged from huge industrial multinationals to young college graduates, who arrived in Prague with backpacks in the early 1990s, and happened to spot a business opportunity. Many burned their fingers; some made a quick buck and disappeared, and others settled down and stayed here for good. In 1991, Radio Prague interviewed a few of these pioneering investors.
A total of 969 firms were declared bankrupt in the first three quarters of this year, which is more than 54 percent against the same period last year, according to figures published by the Czech Credit Bureau. Between January and September a total of 3,516 firms and entrepreneurs filed for bankruptcy, up by almost 80 percent against the same period in 2008. In Q3 this year, a total of 343 firms were declared bankrupt, an increase of nearly 77 percent on the year.
Czech firms have improved their standing in Deloitte’s list of Central Europe’s Top 500 companies this year, news website iHNed.cz reported on Thursday. Five Czech firms rank in Deloitte’s top 25 companies in the region. The highest ranking Czech firms are Škoda Auto and ČEZ for the second year running. Poland dominates the Central European Top 500, with petrochemical giant PKN Orlen ranking first on the list. Companies were ranked on the basis of 2008 turnover, iHNed.cz explained. In total, some 69 Czech companies made their way into the Top 500 this year, meaning the Czechs finished second behind Poland in this year’s survey.
The Czech Statistical Office reported Monday that Czech foreign trade figures for July show a profit margin of 12.3 billion crowns, marking a year-on-year improvement of almost six billion. The standard prices of exports during the period declined by nearly 18% compared with last year, while import prices were down by 21.3%. The result was put down primarily to a lower deficit in mineral fuels, while a decline in machinery and transport vehicles had a negative impact on foreign trade.
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