Turkmall CEO Levent Eyüpoğlu spoke at Retail Days in İstanbul on Wednesday, where he underlined that growth in retail sales will be reflected in a rise in employment at shopping malls by the end of 2012 as they are expected to employ 500,000 people in total.
Eyüpoğlu noted that İstanbul will become an important retail center along with Moscow and several Chinese cities within the next 10 years since shopping activities are concentrated at shopping malls nowadays. He said Turkey is a great market for the retail sector and that İstanbul is expected to become one of the leading shopping centers in the world. İstanbul leads the way in the number of shopping malls in Turkey, but malls are not confined to İstanbul alone as new malls are continually opening their doors throughout the country.
The revenue generated by shopping malls in recent years has grown annually by $7 billion. Revenue in 2009 stood at $21 billion, grew to $28 billion in 2010 and is predicted to be around $35 billion by the end of 2011. Revenue for 2012 is estimated at $42 billion. “In first eight months of 2011, retail sales increased by 20 percent, excluding food products,” Eyüpoğlu said. Eyüpoğlu explained that Far Eastern markets have not yet been discovered by Turkish entrepreneurs and that it is disappointing not seeing Turkish retailers in these countries, particularly in China. He emphasized the importance of the Chinese market in the next 50 years and the business opportunities in that country. He talked about the opening of Star Mall Shenyang Plaza in 2012, the construction of which began in 2008, undertaken by the Fiba Group, and how it was a great inspiration for the Chinese, who later decided to build 10 more shopping malls.
He noted that basic shopping malls will be replaced by malls that have a theme. He also said business relations between retailers and shopping center investors will gain in importance as they will cooperate more in order to reduce expenses.
Dr. Ira Kalish, Deloitte Research’s consumer business director, also spoke at the event, where she said that the European businesses that invest in China are also focused on developing markets and that Turkey is one such market.
CEO of YKM Jaklin Güner said the cold weather, which came early this year, benefited retail businesses by increasing sales as people flocked to malls to escape the cold.
20 October 2011, Thursday / TODAY’S ZAMAN, İSTANBUL