UK fashion and textile mission to Central & Eastern Europe
A group of UK brands joined UKFT and the Department for International Trade in Prague this week to meet local partners and learn more about the enormous potential of the Central & Eastern European market for high street and luxury retail development.
Brands including Closet London, Barker Shoes, J-Lynch, Really Wild, Something Wicked, Freya Rose, GH Hurt & Son and Elegantes London met with buyers and press before a reception at the British Embassy. They also were given a tour of the city to see key retail areas and UK companies currently present in the CEE market including Burberry, TM Lewin, Boux Avenue, Alexander McQueen, Hunter and Fred Perry.
The CEE region, which encompasses markets including the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Slovenia, has a combined population of 106.5 million people and a prime retail area of 21.9 million sqm, according to commercial property consultancy Cushman & Wakefield.
More than 55% of the retail market stock is located in the top three cities of Warsaw in Poland, Prague in the Czech Republic and Budapest in Hungary.
Fast GDP growth, low unemployment and rising disposable income create booming conditions for retail in CEE.
Paul Alger MBE, International Business Director at UKFT, said: “The Central and Eastern European market is of great strategic importance to the UK fashion and textile industry and this was a great opportunity to build new commercial partnerships with buyers and agents in the region.”