Schalast advises Messe Frankfurt on cooperation with nmedia to develop international B2B marketplace nextrade

The retail sector of the consumer goods industry has been undergoing enormous transformation for some time now. Increasing digitisation has been changing and shifting order placement towards digital alternatives. Provided with legal advice from Schalast, Messe Frankfurt is therefore working with nmedia to develop the digital B2B marketplace nextrade for the consumer goods industry. As well as placing orders at the trade fair in the usual way, retailers can use this central platform for the digital ordering of products and product lines 365 days a year.

Digital business models are leading to massive consolidation in the retail sector. 100,000 retail stores [1] in Germany alone were forced to close between 2000 and 2017 "This is an area where we see both a need for action and specific leverage potential for future success. Messe Frankfurt would therefore like to give exhibitors and retailers targeted support with a new digital web-based ordering tool. In the future, as a sales and marketing partner of nmedia, Messe Frankfurt will provide exhibitors and visitors to its consumer goods exhibitions with a further tool to respond to increasingly tough competition. Like our trade fairs, this tool will bring supply and demand together perfectly," says Detlef Braun, Managing Director of Messe Frankfurt.

Messe Frankfurt will develop nextrade together with nmedia, Europe's market leader in the electronic data interchange (EDI) sector, and has for this reason acquired a stake in nmedia GmbH. nmedia is already translating the language of suppliers' and retailers' IT systems using the EDI Clearing Centre, thus allowing the automated ordering of products and product lines. A fully automated process is now in place, generating orders in the retailer's system and sending them to the supplier's system. This makes it possible to save resources and costs while at the same time increasing the level of efficiency for both suppliers and retailers.

[1] Management Report "Der Strukturwandel im deutschen Handel"(structural change in German retail), 2019


Development of the digital B2B marketplace nextrade

All leading suppliers and retailers are already customers of nmedia, which makes it the ideal partner for the development of a B2B marketplace for the entire consumer goods sector. In order to set up nextrade, nmedia will migrate its portfolio of 1,000 retailers and 500 suppliers from the EDI platform to the new marketplace. As its new sales partner, Messe Frankfurt will acquire new suppliers and retailers who want to be part of the marketplace.

Each supplier enters their product data on the marketplace platform in their own online store. Once retailers have been activated by the relevant suppliers, they can use nextrade to place centralised, digital orders in each of the online stores, using a single channel, rather than placing orders manually with each supplier. With the nextrade marketplace, Messe Frankfurt is once again showing that it is a partner in the digital transformation of the industry.

Messe Frankfurt has been a client of the well-established Frankfurt law firm Schalast for a long time. This is the first time that Schalast has acted for Messe Frankfurt in connection with an M&A transaction.

Advisors to Messe Frankfurt

In-house: Andreas Kaster, Birgit Holz


Background information on Messe Frankfurt

Messe Frankfurt is the world's largest trade fair, convention and event organiser with its own premises. It employs a workforce of 2,500* at 30 sites and generates an annual revenue of around € 715 million*. Thanks to far-reaching ties with the relevant sectors and an international sales network, the Group provides effective support for its customers and their business interests. By offering a wide range of services, both on site and online, Messe Frankfurt gives its global customers a consistently high level of flexible support in planning, organising and running their events. This wide range of services includes renting exhibition premises, trade fair construction and marketing, human resources and food services. The Group has its head office in Frankfurt am Main and is owned partly by the City of Frankfurt (60%) and partly by the State of Hesse (40%).

For additional information visit: www.messefrankfurt.com

* preliminary key figures for 2018


About Schalast

Schalast is one of the leading commercial law firms in the German financial centre Frankfurt am Main. The law firm also has offices in Berlin and Hamburg. Schalast predominantly advises small and medium-sized enterprises from Germany and international companies. Schalast's currently approximately 50 lawyers are organised in the practice groups Labour Law, Banking & Finance, Corporate, Dispute Resolution, IP, Media & Technology, Telecommunications & Energy, as well Inheritance and Family law. The notary's office is an additional focus. The law firm is a member of the international network Multilaw and can as a result advice and assist clients worldwide. Schalast received the "German Law Firm of the Year" award from "The Lawyer" in March 2018. Schalast distinguishes itself with first-class legal advice and an appropriate hands-on mentality. Schalast's priority is finding and implementing the best individual, pragmatic, tailor-made and sustainable solutions for its clients. Additional information and references can be found at www.schalast.com