Czech-mate!

The Czech Republic could prove a lucrative export market for DIY, garden and housewares suppliers, according to senior trade advisors who spoke to BHETA members at a webinar on October 8 organised by The British Home Enhancement Trade Association (BHETA).

Krystof Holub and Tereza Vickover, who are both based at the British Embassy in Prague not only set out compelling reasons for pursuing business in the Czech Republic, but also outlined key hints and tips for furthering successful commercial relationships.

Krystof outlined the dynamics of the Czech market and the country’s role as a ‘gateway’ to business in East Germany, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary and Russia. Pointing out that it was the fastest growing economy in Eastern Europe, he also said that household goods has remained the strongest sector even after the impact of Covid. Alongside mainstream retailers like Hornbach and Obi, household retailers also included discounters and premium outlets, as well as a very fast-growing online retail channel for DIY, garden and housewares, where household goods are the second biggest category. Some 40,000 E-shops are proving massively popular with Czechs as well as larger online players such as Bonami.

Citing how well British goods are received in the Czech market where they are perceived as high quality, appealing to Cech willingness to pay more for added value, Krystof also explained that business practice is very similar in the Czech Republic to the UK and that the language for business is predominantly English.

Tereza then provided valuable insights into the best ways to create good business relationships in a country which puts great value on personal trust, formality and punctuality. She also explained the legal requirements for trading in the Czech Republic, the need for product samples and comprehensive product information; and outlined the positive role the Embassy could play in making introductions and building trading relationships.

After the webinar, the Czech trade advisors spent the rest of the day holding one to one ‘zoom meetings’ with BHETA members, giving them personalised advice.

BHETA’s Chief Operating Officer, Will Jones commented, “BHETA members were treated to some very useful insights into the opportunities for trade in, and via the Czech Republic, as well as one to one networking sessions for individual suppliers with Krystof and Tereza. It was heartening to see that while exporters are clearly going to have to deal with change in the wake of BREXIT, the Czech Republic is clearly open for business with UK suppliers and does not view the UK’s departure from the EU as any impediment.

“It was also good to see that what was in effect a BHETA trade mission could take place remotely and create so much interest and enthusiasm.”