The Seventh-Kilometer Market (Russian: Промрынок 7ой километр, Promrynok 7oi Kilometr; Ukrainian: Ринок «Сьомий кілометр», Rynok Syomyi Kilometr), informally known as Tolchok Толчок, or Tolkuchka толкучка (Russian for shove, shoving), is an outdoor market outside of Odessa, Ukraine.
Existing in the 1960s and 1970s, it was originally open only on Sundays (later on Saturdays) in Slobodka (Слободка), near the 3rd Jewish cemetery (3-e еврейскоe кладбищe) on the Chemistry street (ул. Химическая), at the time a small walled-in area of 150m wide and 250m long, hence totally inadequate for a market and where the association with shoving originated. The new version was founded in 1989 during Perestroika reforms, it is now possibly the largest market in Europe.
When founded as an Odessa flea market in the 1960s, the market was officially restricted to selling used items only, but entry was charged to anyone entering with anything held in their hands because new items would be sold by traders from their hands ('с рук') walking the market as opposed to used goods sold off the ground displays. The market was open until 3-4pm, but owing to the difficulty in reaching it, which until 1966 involved a 2 km walk from the nearest tram (no.15) stop, it was paramount to reach the market very early in the morning as all worth-while goods were sold by 10-11am.
When relocated in 1989, it was expelled to an area outside of the city's limits at the seventh kilometer of the Odessa-Ovidiopol highway, thus acquiring its name. As of 2006, the market covers 170 acres (0.69 km²) and consists largely of steel shipping containers, which rent for up to US$6,000 (EUR 4,700) or more per month, as well as an increasing number of ordinary shops in buildings. It has roughly 6,000 traders and an estimated 150,000 customers per day. Daily sales, according to the Ukrainian periodical Zerkalo Nedeli, were believed to be as high as US$20 million in 2004. With a staff of 1,200 (mostly guards and janitors), the market is also the region's largest employer. It is owned by local land and agriculture tycoon Viktor A. Dobriansky and three partners of his.
The independent traders on the market sell goods in all price ranges, from authentic merchandise to all sorts of cheap Asian consumer goods, including many counterfeit Western luxury goods. According to the impressions of S. L. Myers of the New York Times who visited the market in 2006,
- "the market is part third-world bazaar, part post-Soviet Wal-Mart, a place of unadulterated and largely unregulated capitalism where certain questions — about salaries, rents, taxes or last names — are generally met with suspicion."
And Zerkalo Nedeli wrote in 2004 that
- "it is a state within a state, with its own laws and rules. It has become a sinecure for the rich and a trade haven for the poor."
- Steven Lee Myers (May 19, 2006). "Seventh-Kilometer Market Journal: From Soviet-Era Flea Market to a Giant Makeshift Mall". The New York Times.
- "www.7km.net" (in Russian). Retrieved 2006-05-20. Information and pictures of Seventh-Kilometer Market
- "7bazar.com.ua" (in Russian). Retrieved 2009-12-22. Most representative catalogue of goods on Seventh-Kilometer Market. Varied stock, more than 2 000 categories, about 30 0000 units. Sections of the site is constantly replenished
- "Ukrainian 'mall' not for the dainty". www.nytimes.com. 2006-05-18. Retrieved 2011-01-12. Article published by New York Times in 2006