Evaluating the developments in the markets, Turkish retail chain KİM executive board head Erol Ersan told Today's Zaman he anticipated a second foreign chain to join Carrefour in any alleged “exit Turkey” scenarios. Ersan cited difficulties in competing with Turkish rivals as a major reason for some foreign chains considering leaving the Turkish market. He declined to name the chain though.
“Large foreign chains are experiencing troubles in making as much profit as they used to in Turkey. Local rivals have learned how to attract customers with some effective promotions, and they work hard,” he explained.
Looking at the local retail market, no Turkish chain has made it to the top list of largest retailers. The market is expected to reach a total business volume of $315 billion this year and maintain 10 percent annual growth until 2016. The Turkish retail chain market is anticipated to reach a total business volume of $421 billion by 2015. Migros and Tesco Kipa are two of the largest foreign players in Turkish retail market along with Carrefour.
“Foreign retailers started to copy Turkish rivals because the latter can position themselves relatively better in the market. Local chains can grasp the changing needs and trends among Turkish consumers faster than foreign rivals. This was not the case just a few years ago,” he noted.
KİM had earlier announced its target to become one of the top five retailers in Turkey. The group expanded its business by 24 percent last year over 2010 and expects a similar growth this year, too. Recalling that they will add 400 new employees to the KİM family this year, Ersan said they will open three stores in northern Iraq. “The first store in Iraq will be opened in Arbil at the end of July. The second will come in Sulaimaniya.”
Underlining that Turkish retailers should penetrate further into fast-growing Mideast markets, Ersan said the companies should be encouraged to market products in shopping centers across the region. “Saudi Arabia, for instance, is a target market where we can boost produce exports. They buy most of their produce from Brazil. We need to point out the geographical proximity, relatively higher quality and better price advantages here,” he argued.