ERGIN – Turkish malls increase appeal to foreign buyers

Turkish malls increase appeal to foreign buyersWith shopping malls springing up throughout Turkey, particularly in Istanbul, an increased number of buyers from surrounding markets prefer shopping at these centers, retail sector representatives say. Over the past decade, the number of malls has proliferated at a dramatic pace in Turkey, offering competitive prices for target markets such as the Middle East, Iran, Russia and Germany.

Visitors from these countries turned their vacations in Turkey into an opportunity to shop. The share of foreign customers in Turkish malls nearly doubled over the past five years according to Deniz Necati Erda, country general manager for popular Danish shoe brand Ecco.

Evaluating the market and Ecco’s performance one year after it was introduced to Turkey, Erda said Monday in Istanbul that 31 percent of the brand’s customers in Turkey were from abroad. “Around 40 percent of our foreign customers come from Middle East and Iran.

Scandinavian, German and Russian customers are in the top five,” Erda told Today’s Zaman on Monday. The manager says this trend is similar across Turkey.

“More than 55 percent of brand product sales in shopping malls in Turkey are made in Istanbul and its neighboring provinces. We see that most tourists also prefer shopping in this region [Marmara],” Erda explains.

Erda says international events such as the Istanbul Shopping Fest increase the appeal of shopping in Turkey. However, additional taxes on imported shoes, for instance, threatened to mar Turkey’s image as a growing shopping hub.

The government hiked taxes on imported shoes by 50 percent in 2014 in a bid to encourage local production. Erda says the government should make sure such protectionist measures do not hurt the competitive power of Turkish malls in the region.

Ecco entered Turkey last year and has five sales points in Istanbul. The company plans to open another five sales spots in Istanbul, where there are more than 100 shopping malls.

The company doubled its capital for Turkish investments this year, and plans to expand into Anatolia in 2016. Established in 1963 in Denmark, Ecco is in 90 countries and employs more than 1,200 personnel.

The company expects to sell 40,000 pairs of shoes in Turkey this year and increase turnover by a factor of four The world’s second-largest shoe seller, Ecco also is the fifth-largest leather provider for such giant brands as Apple Inc.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman