During the last ten years, retailing in Eastern Europe has undergone considerable changes. The entry of Western European retail chains into Eastern Europe has helped accelerate the distributive trade of Eastern Europe. But what does it take to sell fish and cheese to retailers and wholesalers in Eastern Europe compared to Western Europe? Eastern European buyers attach great importance to other aspects when they list new suppliers and products than does Western European retailing. These are the results of a MAPP study of Eastern European retail and wholesale buying behaviour for fish and cheese. Low prices and favourable terms of payment are most important when retailers in Eastern Europe buy fish and cheese. Then follows the supplier's range of products, trustworthiness of the supplier and product quality. Eastern European wholesalers also rank price and financial conditions as most important. Product quality comes in third followed by trustworthiness of the supplier and marketing support offered. Price and quality plus marketing support offered seem to be relatively more important to wholesalers than retailers. The majority of Eastern European retailers use central buying departments. Only a minority combine local and central buying. Apparently, buying functions are organised differently in the Baltic countries than in the Central European countries. This seems partly to be attributable to size differentials as Baltic retail chains are smaller than Central European retailers. In comparison,Western European retailers prefer doing business with suppliers that are capable of supplying all shops in a chain. Also the question about traceability is decisive.Retailers also prefer doing business with suppliers that are interested in a long-term trade relationship and who are from their own country or at least have local sales offices.