Retailers in the Czech Republic will look to expand their private-label ranges amid the economic downturn, a senior executive from Ahold has claimed.

With consumer spending under pressure, Robert de Groot, vice president for marketing and formats for Ahold in the Czech Republic, told the Retail Summit in Prague yesterday (3 February) that retailers would extend their own-label ranges.

De Groot said grocers would be less affected by the downturn than non-food retailers but urged more state spending on infrastructure to boost the whole industry.

“The Czech Republic’s government would very much help retailers operating in this country if it would invest more in infrastructure, especially roads,” de Groot said.

Zdenek Juracka, head of the Czech Republic’s Retail Association, said consumers, particularly those who had lost their jobs, had started shopping closer to home. Juracka said local retailers needed to become more flexible to adapt to the changing economic environment.

“One of the ways how retailers could react to the crisis would be extending their opening hours.”