Andrej Babis Prime Minister Czech Republic

William Malcolm

Babis’s Bet On Lingerie Pays Off As Astratex Sales Soar

The Astratex online lingerie store expects sales to increase by almost 50 percent to 1.2 billion crowns this year. It should grow by another 15 to 20 percent next year. The owner of the company is the Hartenberg private equity fund from the trust funds of Prime Minister Andrej Babiš.

The company has started expansion to Germany and Austria this year and will continue to do so in other western markets next year. At the same time, it began to expand the central warehouse in Náchod. After an investment of 30 million crowns, its area will increase by 50 percent.

For this year’s pre-Christmas season, Astratex has doubled its inventory. For selected categories, such as pajamas, bathrobes or nightwear, stocks are even higher. “Already in September, we are seeing increased interest in gift items, and due to extended delivery times, there will be no chance of re-stocking sold-out items in time before Christmas,” said Miroslav Tesař, CEO of Astratex.

According to him, people will also shop online to a greater extent for this year’s holidays. “This year’s Christmas will bring the domestic market closer to the moment when the online turnover will surpass the retail turnover,” added Carpenter.

The domestic delivery network is also responding to the growth in interest in online shopping. According to Tesař, the dispensing boxes are growing at a rocket pace, but the network of dispensing points is also expanding very fast. The Czechia is close to the level of coverage, where 99 percent of customers have a distribution point within walking distance.

Astratex has been operating since 2000, and five years later the company began to focus exclusively on online sales. Most of the assortment consists of women’s underwear and swimwear, but also men’s assortment, sports underwear and also sells bed linen. In the first half of the year, the company increased sales by 80 percent to 600 million crowns.