Perakende Günleri (Retail Days) 2024 conference meetings has begun

At the press conference held for the opening of Retail Days 2024, Sinan Öncel, President of the United Brands Association (BMD), Nuri Şapkacı, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Shopping Malls and Investors Association (AYD), Serhan Tınastepe, President of the Chain Stores Association (ZMD), Selçuk Güzenge, President of the Registered Brands Association (TMD), Ünal Dölek, Vice President of the All Restaurants and Tourism Operators Association (TÜRES), and Kutay Kartallıoğlu, Board Member of the Food Retailers Association (GPD), discussed the current situation, issues, and solution proposals of the retail sector.

Speaking at the meeting, Sinan Öncel, President of BMD, stated that significant investments and revenue increases continue in the e-commerce sector, especially after the pandemic. Öncel noted that they have observed this in surveys conducted by the association, emphasizing that e-commerce has not slowed down after the pandemic.

However, Öncel pointed out that a significant portion of the sales made are discount-oriented, stating, “There is an increase in revenue, but a significant portion of this revenue increase comes from discounted sales.”

Öncel mentioned that tourist data is positive, with increases in the number of tourists coming to Turkey, but this has not reflected in spending. He said, “Especially unless we rescue the retail sector from counterfeit products in tourism regions, it will not have a positive impact on our economy; the informal economy is at a high level there. We are conveying these to the relevant ministries.”

Kutay Kartallıoğlu, Board Member of GPD, emphasized that there is a significant path for modern retailing to follow in Turkey. Kartallıoğlu stated that food and basic necessity expenditures constitute a significant portion of consumer budgets, with household consumption expenditures reaching around 50 percent.

Kartallıoğlu emphasized the significant role of food retailing in employment in the country, stating, “We sustain an economy that reaches 700-800 thousand through indirect employment, which is 1.5 times the direct employment of 465 thousand. Last year, the food retailing sector was the 3rd sector that saw the most increase in employment.” He also mentioned their efforts regarding flexible working.

Highlighting intense price competition in the sector, Kartallıoğlu said, “Market chains among our members can produce products up to 50 percent cheaper than branded products that revolve around national advertising thanks to their own branded products. The share of private label products in turnover is around 26 percent. One out of every 4 products sold in Turkey is a private label.”

“Indirect employment is provided for 2.1 million people” Nuri Şapkacı, Chairman of the Board of Directors of AYD, drew attention to the indirect employment of 2.1 million people in the sector. Pointing out that the total investment figure in the sector has reached a volume of 50 billion dollars, Şapkacı stated that especially shopping malls located in the right locations, properly planned and managed, have high occupancy rates.

Şapkacı mentioned that although visitor numbers in shopping malls increased by 50 percent during the Ramadan month, it only reflected as a 25-30 percent increase in sales. He said, “This situation indicates that customers are more price-focused and inclined towards lower-priced products.”

Serhan Tınastepe, President of ZMD, said they represent a turnover of over 1 trillion liras in the sector. Tınastepe stated that the retail sector is the remedy for youth unemployment, noting that almost 90 percent of employees are under the age of 30.

Tınastepe mentioned that reducing credit card installments has begun to negatively affect high-basket shopping, especially. He also highlighted that tourist turnovers, previously observed only in Antalya, are now beginning to be observed in nearly 20 cities in the country, which the sector welcomes positively.

Efforts for productivity continue in retail Responding to a question about the contraction in domestic demand, Tınastepe said the following: “We are facing a contraction in domestic demand, and to cope with these, the retail sector is primarily conducting serious productivity efforts. Investments in storeization are currently stagnant, there are very serious efforts on how to make operations more efficient in existing stores, and technology investments are at the focus of these efforts. Technology investments increase productivity, and the second investment side is online.”

Öncel also stated that retailers who have reached a certain number of stores abroad are shifting a large portion of their supplies abroad, saying, “This is not a good thing for our country. The rate of selling products produced in Turkey in the stores of Turkish brands abroad is decreasing.”

source: prepared by Melisa Beğiç

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