WUWM Retail Conference Results in Declaration

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June 16, 2008

The recent WUWM Retail Conference held from 12-14 June in Hamburg, Germany resulted in a WUWM Declaration which highlighted the important role of retail markets in EU economies and communities. Figures show that at least 25,000 retail markets operate in the European Union, with more than 450,000 retail market traders operating businesses on those markets. Additionally, more than 1 million people are working on those retail markets with the total turnover surpassing 35 billion Euros. The WUWM declaration subsequently urges the European Commission and its member states to formally acknowledge the vital role of street/retail markets and asks for support, such as the provision of funding to enable further studies into the sector, to be provided. (The full version of this Declaration is provided below.) Due to the increasing number of retail markets affiliated to the WUWM, this first Retail Conference entitled: "European Retail Markets Driving Communities" discussed various methods of strengthening and developing retail (covered, street and open-air) markets throughout Europe. The conference, hosted by Hamburg Wholesale Market and GHVG - the Hamburg Market Traders Association also discussed the need for effective community involvement in market development, the need for efficiency in retail market promotions, and delegates reviewed the latest technical innovations in market equipment and practices. Technical visits were made to the Hamburg wholesale market, as well as to Großneumarkt and Langenhorner Markt - two retail markets within Hamburg, and to Borco Hoehns - a specialist market equipment company situated in nearby Rotenburg. The conference was aimed at retail market authorities and decision-makers, retail market traders (and their associations), local authority representatives, town centre managers, town planners, government agencies working for retail/commerce/food retail businesses, and professionals interested in the social and/or economic benefits of markets.