Austrian furniture group seeks to Czech site for massive warehouse development

Photo: archive of XXXLutz

Austrian furniture retailer XXXLutz is aiming to build what would be the biggest warehouse so far in the Czech Republic. The planned development covering around 150,000 square metres would dwarf warehouse already built for such corporations as Amazon, Lego, Internet sales company and US-based branded clothes and footwear seller VF Corporation.

Photo: archive of XXXLutz
According to the business daily E15, the precise location of the future warehouse is still being sought. Frontrunner sites appear to be in the Plzeň region and in Northern Bohemia. With XXXLutz aiming to have the warehouse as its main hub for markets covering markets as far apart as Croatia, Austria, Germany and Sweden, good transport links will be a key to the final siting.

At the moment, the group main warehouse is near the Austrian town of Sattledt in Upper Austria, around 60 kilometres from the Czech border. That should be kept in operating even after the new giant Czech warehouse starts operating.

XXXLutz currently has a fairly low profile on the Czech market. It operates just one XXXLutz outlet on the outskirts of Prague with another due to open this year at an already established shopping site at the end of the Prague metro at Černý Most. Otherwise, its main presence is through nine discount shops called Möbelix.

The group is one of the biggest furniture sellers in Europe with around 230 stores across the continent and total turnover of around 78 billion crowns.

The news of such a large development earmarked for the Czech Republic is likely to spark a mixed reception. Jobs will be created, but critics often point out that they are often low skilled and low paid.

The recent battle over Amazon’s plans to site similar warehouses on the outskirts of Prague and Brno show that intentions are not everything. Eventually local opposition and planning hurdles meant that Amazon gave up its plans for Brno and proceeded solely on the outskirts of Prague.

Hundreds of residents of the small town of Zdiby, north of Prague, are protesting plans to build a warehouse complex on the outskirts of the town. They complain of the traffic that will result from the development by US warehouse development specialist Goodman. The area in question though has already been earmarked for warehouse development since 2006 on local and regional plans.