Prague ranks eighth best for last minute Christmas shopping

The list from The Economist has some surprising results

For last-minute Christmas shopping, Prague ranked eighth in the world. The ranking by UK-based magazine The Economist put Dubai in first place. New York was used as benchmark, ranked at 100, and came in 16th place.

The ranking used three criteria. Retail penetration counted for 50 percent. “We used a ranking by CB Richard Ellis, a real-estate firm, to assess the penetration of global retailers in cities around the world.” the Economist's Gulliver blog said. The other two concerns were about value for money. Day-to-day costs for visitors and cost for gift items counted 25 percent each. That data came from The Economist Intelligence Unit. The gift items tracked were “the sort of items Christmas shoppers might covet, such as booze, clothes and perfume.”

Prague scored a total of 115.9 points, being behind New York on the penetration of retail brands with 77.7 points, but ahead of the benchmark city on day-to-day costs at 148.9 and ahead on value for money at 159.5. In the latter category, Prague was even ahead of first-place Dubai, which scored 157.2 in value for money. Toronto scored highest in value for money, at 181.7.

The Economist points out that many people may be surprised by the low score for New York, 16th out of the 20 ranked cities. “Visitors to America will have noticed that value for money is now hard to find given the strengthening dollar. In fact only a shopping trip in Singapore is more expensive than New York,” The Economist stated.

Despite Dubai coming on top, The Economist recommended fourth-ranked London for Christmas shopping. “[London] manages to combine a festive feel with a mammonic love of shopping—all, thanks to the weak pound, at a reasonable price,” The Economist said.

But Prague still has its fans. US-based CNN, using less scientific methods, picked Prague as number one for its Christmas markets at Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square.

Christmas shopping index
City, overall score

1. Dubai, 139.4
2. Johannesburg, 127.5
3. Bangkok, 123.7
4. London, 121.4
5. Toronto, 120.6
6. Berlin, 118.4
7. Boston, 118.0
8. Prague, 115.9
9. Beijing, 115.6
10. St Petersburg, 111.6
11. Miami, 111.0
12. Milan, 109.2
13. Paris, 105.7
14. Singapore, 105.6
15. Tokyo, 105.0
16. New York, 100
17. Los Angeles, 98.5
18. Rio de Janeiro, 95.4
19. Sydney, 90.7
20. Oslo, 74.9

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