WUWM Moves European Retail Markets Ahead
July 1, 2009
A World Union of Wholesale Markets (WUWM) Conference to discuss the way forward for the European retail market sector was held from 26-27 June 2009 in London. The conference, hosted by the National Association of British Market Authorities, brought market managers and market trader associations from 8 countries together in a bid to identify common challenges and share strategies for success. The conference was opened by the UK Minister of State for Food, farming and Environment, Jim Fitzpatrick. Thereafter speakers presented retail market case studies from several EU countries, analyzing the core requirements of a successful retail market today, also discussing issues related to competitiveness, strategic development, and effective promotion of the socio-economic benefits of market. The conference key note speaker, Professor Allan Hallsworth, Advisor to the UK Select Committee Enquiry into Markets spoke of the necessary social and business policies markets require to succeed, highlighting the negative impact and influence of large chain retailers and supermarkets on European communities and local business, and addressed the need for increased discussion and closer relations with the Competition Commission. Conference delegates were invited on an early morning visit to Smithfield Market, touring the facilities with the market’s Superintendent Robert Wilson (pictured), as well as David Smith who is the person responsible for the effective and efficient operation of the City of London’s three wholesale food markets: Billingsgate, Smithfield, and New Spitalfields. Visits to Borough Market and Camden Lock Market, two popular London retail markets were also held, and delegates enjoyed a special dinner held in the House of Lords with Baroness Dean of Thornton-le-Fylde, Chairwoman of Covent Garden Market Authority (CGMA) - a WUWM wholesale market member. During the event WUWM Retail Chairman, Jean-Paul Auguste, noted the successful development of the work being undertaken within WUWM Retail and he also paid tribute to the earlier work of Councillor Paul Westley, who had been active in the initial establishment of the WUWM Retail Section. This 2nd WUWM Retail Conference follows on from the success of the first held in Hamburg, Germany in June 2008, and is a vital step in further developing the WUWM as an active, leading platform representing the interests of the retail market sector – in Europe, as well as globally. The 3rd WUWM Retail Conference will take place in June 2010 with hosting bids received from Dublin, Barcelona and Amsterdam currently under review.