Merchants from neighbouring areas and faraway lands
Work in trade involved constant mobility because merchants were perpetual wanderers. Talent was not enough to become a good merchant! You also needed extensive knowledge, skills and experience. The ability to write, keep accounts and speak foreign languages, a good sense of direction, intuition pertaining to customer psychology… No wonder that merchants were an educated social stratum which had the greatest impact on city governance.
What was it, then, that foreign merchants had to offer to Poznań’s inhabitants? First and foremost, goods which could not be bought at local markets: spices, Eastern weapons, Morocco leather (thin buckskin used for bookbinding) and Mediterranean wines. Thanks to the wealthiness of Poznań’s townspeople, merchants could be sure that they would earn a steady income and be able to sell both goods for everyday use as well as luxury items.
Most foreign merchants stayed in Poznań only for some period of time. Some of them, however, liked the city so much that they moved their businesses here for good. They were often granted citizenship and even had influence on the City Council.