Restrictions hurting retail in Prague transportation hubs
Stores located in transportation hubs are once again coming under pressure as increasingly strict government measures have reduced passenger numbers. At the beginning of the week, the volume of traffic at Prague's main train station was still roughly half of what's normal. But Hospodarske noviny reports that this week's tougher measures have reduced the level of human traffic even further. The Camaieu store at the station has already declared insolvency. Lagardere Travel Retail, which operates most of the shops and restaurants in Prague's busiest station says the situation isn't tenable in the long-term. "Following the implementation of restrictions, when people aren't travelling to school and they're on home office, we're recording a loss of sales of around 50 percent," says Richard Prochazka, head of the the company's Czech branch. Lagardere Travel Retail operates the Relay, Paul and Costa Coffee stores both at the main station and at the Prague airport. But Prochazka says that the airport agreed to a turnover rent with his company, unlike the state-owned company Sprava zeleznic, which runs station operations. The Czech Minister of Trade and Industry Karel Havlicek claims the state's system of support is fair, because tenants only have to pay 20 percent of their usual rent charges. The landlord picks up 30 percent of the bill, while the state contributes the remaining 50 percent.