Where should the Market be heading?

24th April 2008

The majority of business owners and customers of the Central Fish Market support the idea of maintaining the Market’s current night business hours.
This is one of the conclusions drawn by the study carried out by the Cerdà Institute at the request of the Fresh and Frozen Fish and Seafood Wholesale Consignees’ Guild of Barcelona and Province (GMP) and Mercabarna, the aim of which was to discuss the most appropriate business schedule for purchasing and selling.

The study reveals that the issue of business hours is not a decisive factor in Market activity development. However, it does underline other factors that should be taken into account to ensure the proper running of the Market, such as offering services adapted to the new channels and customers and opening the market to two emerging sectors: the hospitality channel and immigrants.

Wholesalers and customers veto a change in business hours
The study reveals that 70% of wholesalers are in favour of the current business hours –3:00 to 8:30 a.m. – as opposed to 20% who would prefer to work from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The effects on the quality of fresh produce, difficulties in maintaining the cold chain and rising storage costs are some of the reasons for rejecting such a change.

As for customers, 80% also prefer the night schedule since it fits their business needs better. Those most reluctant to a potential change are traditional retailers, who are the Market businesses’ main clientele and, furthermore, a very loyal group (many have been buying at the Market for over 10 years). On the other hand, those from the hospitality sector and major distribution consider the timetable to be of minor importance, since for the most part they require services, such as remote purchasing or previous information concerning products.