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Station forecourt, Kaiserstraße, © Stadtplanungsamt Stadt Frankfurt am Main

As a regional center, the City of Frankfurt takes on far-reaching supply functions in the public and private infrastructure. Frankfurt is an important national retail trade hub, but at the same time the city faces fierce regional competition from a large number of regional and minor regional centers in the Rhine-Main area.

In Frankfurt/Main as well there is evidence of the trends towards larger operating units, particularly in the retail food sector, and of the drop in the number of retail outlets in secondary locations. E-commerce sales and market share are growing continually. Customer behavior with regard to mobility, the shopping experience, and diminishing loyalty to locations and individual outlet are heightening the structural upheavals in the retails trade. These changes are also reflected in urban structures, and there are increasing signs of relocation to city limits and a thinning out of the local supply network.

"My Zeil" shopping center in Frankfurt's downtown, © Stadtplanungsamt Stadt Frankfurt am Main

Nonetheless, the city has an extensive, varied range of specialist outlets. In comparison with other major cities as well, the structure of centers in Frankfurt/Main is characterized by a large number of shopping centers spread across the entire city and at different levels in the hierarchy.

The urban planning aims on the one hand to strengthen the centers, and on the other to guarantee comprehensive supplies close to residential quarters. To this end, in June 2012 the Frankfurt City Council adopted a revised concept for the structure of retail trade and shopping centers. It was based on the Study on Updating the Retail Trade and its Centers in Frankfurt am Main 2010.

In line with the specifications outlined in the resolution adopted by the City Council, the concept for updating the retail trade and its centers is once again being advanced, with a focus on “ensuring local supplies”. The City of Frankfurt (City Planning Department and Wirtschaftsförderung Frankfurt GmbH) in collaboration with the Frankfurt Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IHK) and the Frankfurt regional branch of Handelsverband Hessen-Süd e.V., are overseeing this updating procedure.

In 2016 and early 2017, during sessions of the local advisory councils in all 16 Frankfurt administrative districts, the local advisory councils, trade associations, and those members of the public interested in the matter were also involved in the process of drawing up the draft legislation. Together with the City Planning Department and the City Business Development Agency, the consulting firm Junker+Kruse put up for discussion proposals for advancing the concept. The incorporation and coordination of the proposals have now been concluded and are due to be approved by the Municipal Authorities and the City Council in late 2018.


Furthermore, implementation measures are currently being prepared.


Contact partner(s)

Mr. Thomas Hickmann

Telephone: +49 (0)69 212 34930
Fax: +49 (0)69 212 30731

Ms. Antje Iff

Telephone: +49 (0)69 212 30087
Fax: +49 (0)69 212 43692