The Corona crisis has made big waves in every corner of the German Federal Republic, including the Nuremberg wholesale market. At the end of 2019, the Milevski company decided to enter the classic wholesale business in addition to the existing services of retail. However, due to the Corona pandemic, the new wholesale market stand had to be closed after only a few months, says managing director Goran Milevski.
The main pillar of the Nuremberg-based family business has been the service of the (supra)regional food retail trade for many years. Every day, tons of fruit and vegetables are planned accordingly at the main location on the Nuremberg trading grounds and delivered to the respective supermarket branch. "We have not felt any major effects in this sector. As a rule, the retail programs could be fulfilled without any problems," says Milevski.
Left: The Milevski sales team of during the reopening of the wholesale market stand. Right: Goran Milevski leads the company
At the start of the pandemic, there was of course a rush for certain product groups and noticeable hoarding in Franconia. Milevski: "We also supply food retailers with canned goods and canned vegetables. In the first phase of the crisis, sales in this category were well above the average level. However, we have only seen a slight increase in demand for fresh produce."
Online store & complicated fruit logistics
At the beginning of the year, the online store for private customers was still under construction, but Corona has considerably accelerated the launch of the online element. "There are enough interested parties, but we would have needed a little more lead time afterwards. The concept should actually still be optimized and changed accordingly in some places."
Meanwhile, a lot of challenges were also noticed on the procurement side. "Bottlenecks on the product level were not a big problem for us, but the situation in terms of logistics and thus also the procurement of goods quickly became more difficult. Shipments from Italy and elsewhere often arrived with a delay, which inevitably affected our everyday life. During the lockdown, we also sometimes did not import any goods from Central and Eastern Europe at all. After the lockdown, the processes and customs clearance returned to normal to some extent."
Ending stand sales
While the food retail sector has been maintained without any major problems, the crisis has had a serious impact on the traditional wholesale trade. With a heavy heart, the Milevski management decided to temporarily close the new wholesale market stand. "We had built up this new division for us shortly before Corona and could therefore not cope with the sudden impairment."
The stand area will now be used exclusively as storage and disposition area for deliveries. "Fortunately, those who had previously shopped with us have for the most part remained loyal to us. This means that you buy from us by phone and get the goods delivered by us instead of picking them up here in the pick-up market. We are now considering whether to keep it that way or whether we will reopen the stand at some point."