Officials Munich wholesale market are critical of future developments

Germany: “Either build new facilities or we will have to close”

The ‘belly of Munich’, that is what the local wholesale market complex and the associated facilities have been known as for years. But even here in the heart of the South German fruit and vegetable trade, there are great concerns about the future of the site and the performance of the trading hub. Significant dilapidation of the halls and the trend towards direct purchasing at national food retailers threatens the existence of wholesalers, according to Gerhard Harter, deputy plant manager of the wholesale market administration. "I am very critical and uncertain about the future."

Wholesaler on the Munich Wholesale Market

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As is the case with the majority of German wholesale markets, the Munich wholesale market is in a state of great transformation. Only two options are available: either extensive new construction will take place where the oldest halls will be demolished and rebuilt, or the Munich Wholesale Market becomes a nostalgic but marginal meeting place of some major service providers and direct sellers. Harter: “Halls 1 to 4 really are no longer viable. They will not last for another 20 years. In the unshielded halls, retailers have to protect their goods with foil. The only options are either to rebuild or we will have to close.”

Gerhard Harter, deputy plant manager of the wholesale market administration in his office

Visual trade
As the owner of the site, the Munich city council will have to take the final decision. The city council decided last July that the new complex has to be financed by private investors. Some investors have already contacted each other. Harter: "But they do not know what they're getting into. The problem with private investors is that they want to have fewer staff, which is why the administration will then be quite limited.” Before new construction can even begin, the site needs to be cleared. According to Harter, the estimated costs for laying all kinds of cables and for the disposal of contaminated materials will exceed 40 million euros.

The entrance to the Munich Wholesale Market

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However, it is important for the administration today that the new site covers the entire food industry and will be able to offer the full range of products, including meat, fish and dairy. Harter: “The so-called visual trade is on the decline. If you buy over the phone or online and a dealer supplies crap, then you will choose another. That's why the new hall has to be flexibly furnished and equipped so that the hall can be used as needed. Currently you have to pay fees of 11 or 13 euros per m2 in the two shielded halls. It has to be under 20 euros per m2 in order for the dealers to even be able to pay these fees.”

Trucks dock at Hall 10. The old halls (1 to 4) are not equipped with ramps

If the new plans are designed and the mixed product range is finally there, the wholesale market, according to Harter will still have potential. The plot in the Sendling district is unique and optimal in terms of logistics and space. Harter: “There is no alternative. The wholesale market should remain here. We have a rail connection where one can unload, in theory. The additional problem is, however, that Munich is already too packed.” According to his information the wholesale market still has many applications. “When a site becomes available there are immediately three or four interested parties. And unlike other wholesale markets, there is direct little competition. The wholesale market Nuremberg is too far away from here. Even merchants from Salzburg and Linz reach out to Munich.”

At night at the wholesale market, at noon at the Christmas market.
The Munich marketers buy their goods direct on the wholesale market.

For more information:
Markthallen München
Verwaltungsleiter Gerhard Harter
Schäftlarnstr. 10
81371 München
Tel. +49 89 233 98502

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