Its central location in Europe and excellent infrastructure link Cologne to suppliers and customers all over the world and have done so since Roman times. Its combination of all transport options makes Cologne an outstanding environment with enormous development potential. Nor does any city in the whole of the country have anywhere near as many wholesale, retail and external trade establishments.
As early as Roman times, the location of Cologne favoured the exchange of goods. It was followed by the era of the Hanseatic cities and today around 75,000 jobs exist in Cologne's wholesale and retail trades. There are also thousands of businessmen and women. With Kaufhof AG and the REWE Group, two of the leading trade groups are based in Cologne.
The names of further renowned companies are linked with Cologne. For example Saturn, the top adress in the area of entertainment electronics, offers the widest range of compact discs in the world. German headquarters and distribution centres of large international companies like Barilla, Wasa, Bull, JT International, Pernod Ricard or Toys "R" Us, have also decided to locate in the commercial centre of Cologne.
Number 1 shopping street is the Schildergasse in the heart of the city. It is one of the most heavily-frequented shopping streets in Europe with 17,200 pedestrians per hour and numerous retailers make use of it - or the neighbouring Hohe Straße - as a test market for their engagement in Germany. The "Weltstadthaus", built according to the plans of Renzo Piano for Peek and Cloppenburg, is a further centre of attraction in the city with its imposing glass facade. Shopping indoors is also possible in Cologne's numerous shopping malls. Photo: dapd