Turkey is among the largest retail markets in the world and on top of that increasingly attractive for local and foreign investors. Ranked 13th on the Global Retail Development Index, 8th on the Fashion Retail Index and 9th on the E-Retail Index, Turkey has established significant growth in the recent years and is slated to continue its fast development in the sector. According to a 2012 report by CBRE, Turkey ranks 14th out of 70 countries for its appeal to international retailers.
Noppen`s Turkey Retail Development Conference gathered retailers, shopping mall developers, associations, consultants, e-commerce experts, architects and solution providers. Both the international and Turkish experts provided first-hand insights on upcoming trends, criteria for further growth, importance of design, benefits of social media, technology solutions and customer behaviors changing the market.
While there were a number of outstanding speakers at the event, Mr. Zafer BAYSAL, AMPD Vice Chairman, President of Shopping Centers Group, Rönesans Holding, President of Strategic Investments & Foreign Relations Group andGeneral Manager of AGP – Rönesans Joint Group Companies, particularly stood out. His long experience in this industry makes him a well-respected figure and the delegates listened intently to his comments and evaluation of the retail market development and it`s competitive situation. “2 Billion dollar investment will bring 20 – 25 new shopping malls into Turkey in 2013”
Following his presentation, GfK Directors, Mr. Hakan DÖNGEL and Ms. Yeşim YAŞA GÖRGÜLÜ,provided the participants with an extensive survey analyzing shopping center visitors`perception and theirbehavioral changes effecting shopping habits. The last presentation before the networking tea break was put on show by Ms. Alev KAHRAMAN, General Manager of Vialand AVM, Turkey`s first Mega Theme Park/Shopping Mall, she emphasized the importance of using customer experience as a tool to increase the overall sales turnover of the tenants.
Following the networking break Ms. Sepin SİNANLIOĞLU İNCEER, Director& Investment Committee Member ofTurkven Private Equity briefly summarized how a private equity company can accelerate business growth and value of brands with recent success story examples.
Turkven`s presentation was followed by a fruitful 70 minutes panel where investors revealed their short and midterm expectations and interests in Turkey`s Retail Market. The panel was successfully chaired by Mr. Levent KİRAZOĞLU, Manager in Project & Acquisition Finance of Garanti Bank. Azadea`s Country Manager: Mr. Ali AL-KHALİL, Emaar Turkey`s CEO: Mr. Ozan BALABAN, Aerium Turkey`s President: Mr. Anthony KHOI, Amstar Global`sDirector of Development & Construction: Mr. Ulf PETTERSSON, Turkven`sDirector & Investment Committee Member: Ms. Sepin SİNANLIOĞLU İNCEER, Qubicon Turkey`s Managing Partner: Mr. Patrick VAN DOOYEWEERT and Pramerica Real Estate Investors` General ManagerMr. Burhanettin YURTSEVENshared insight and commented on positive development of the industry withyields higher than most of the European countries. They debated over the lack of available space in 1st Tier cities and potential development opportunities in 2nd& 3rd Tier cities. Some minor regulatory and transparency issues were mentioned among the drawbacks. Participants reminded that Turkey is currently competing on a Global Scale and International Investors are considering many other markets before directing their investments in Turkey. Even though the retail sector is getting stronger in Turkey, global investors contributed only around 3 percent of their capital in to the region which shows there need to be more efforts to attract FDI into the country through incentives and creating possibilities.
Morning session was finalized by Mr. Haluk BİLGE, CEO of HS Brands who presented the benefits of Mystery Shopping To Increase Sales And Cutting Costs just before the lunch break and networking.
Afternoon session started with a very refreshing presentation ofMr. Sotiris TSOULOS, Associate Architect of RMJM. Global design elements for retail industry were defined and their successful ways of adaptation into Turkey market were introduced with a very entertaining presentation. His presentation was followed by Mr. Michael WEISS, Partner at A.T. Kearney who mentioned that recently luxury spendings are replacing the basic needs, Turkey retail area is expected to be double by 2020, in the near future consolidation and need to re-invent the retail strategies are likely to surface.
Mr. William J SEBRING, Partner & Managing Director of Altoon Partners introduced an architect`s way of repositioning underperforming retail properties with an impressive slide show of multiple case studies examples. Following the tea break Mr. Melih ÖDEMİŞ, Co-Founder & CIO of Yemeksepeti.com made a case study to showing how he made his brand a lifestyle choice for his consumers” which prepared the foundation for the following discussion panel `creating a unique customer journey & demand by using innovative technology & design`. The panel was moderated by Dr. Luca CAPPUCCITTI, Director, Global New Business Development at Studio | H2G. Panelists were Mr. Emre DÖLCEL, Director of Sales, Marketing and Projects Management at SKM Projects+, Mr. Mehmet S. KOCA, Managing Partner at Nova Sultani, Mr. Leon GOLDWATER, Executive Board Member at Europe Real Estate and Mr. Sotiris TSOULOS, Associate Architect from RMJM. They brainstormed to find out in which ways experience retail can aid conversion and increase turnover in retail; different approaches, architectural as well as technological and cultural elements were discussed. With the audience actively participating and contributing, the talk focused on the impact of local and corporate culture on creating customer experience while defining the right script to create store and shopping mall design.
Day two started with an interesting presentation of Mr. Hakan GÜMÜŞ, Board Member & General Manager of EA Real Estate Development & Construction.He introduced the retailers, developers and investors the opportunities lying behind the borders with a case study. He shared his first-hand experience on current situation and development possibilities in Northern Iraq. Not only he created an excellent outlook, he also provided alternative business models to develop in the market further.
Retail development trends in shopping malls and on high streets was the following panel which was moderated by Mr. Firuz SOYUER, Managing Partner of DTZ Pamir & Soyuerand and joined by Ms. Alev KAHRAMAN, General Manager ofVialand AVM, Mr. Hakan ŞAHİN, General Manager at A Plus Ataköy AVM and Mr. Arda TAŞARKAN, Business Development Director atCefic Turkey. They have provided insight in the possible future outlook of physical stores and the importance of using shopping experience to boost in-store retail. During the panel, participants mentioned the number of shopping malls opening every year boosting the competition whereas online sales are keeping the customers at home. They pointed out that creating new drives and inventing new ways are inevitable to encourage the customers towards the physical shopping experience.
At that point Mr. Hakan SEKMEN, Founding Partner of SKM Projects+ reminded the importance of differentiating the products and brands to service the new generation of customersby creating retail concepts from conceptual development to window display. He stressed on creating the soul and identity of space and brand to enhance interest and maintain loyalty of the consumers.
Right after the networking tea break Mr. Ivan GUZELJ, Vice President of Symphony EYC elaborated on how retailers can get up to speed with e-commerce and multi-channel retailing to expand their market share. His presentation was showcased by Mr. İlker BAYDAR, General Manager of Hepsiburada.com which has become the biggest online shopping mall of Turkey in a very short time. He made an impressive speech on power of e-retail in a dynamic market to reach consumers in a crowded marketplace. The last conference panel was moderated by Mr. Merter ÖZDEMİR. Panelists Mr. Kaan DÖNMEZ, General Manager of Morhipo, Mr. BuğraTOPLUSOY, General Coordinator of Roman, Ms. Gülfem TOYGAR, CEO of Limango.com.tr of Otto Group Turkey alongside with Mr. BAYDAR discussed how technology was reshaping brick-and-mortar retailing and if online shopping is and will be a threat for standalone shops and shopping malls in Turkey. While the benefits of e-commerce were clearly mentioned and opportunities were laid out by the experts of the e-commerce, it was clear that currently there were no big threats to physical shopping yet. Even though some brand representatives pointed out their sincere wishes of e-commerce becoming a serious threat considering the number of shopping malls and the burden of paying those rents. Sincerity and input of panelist were greatly appreciated by all the delegates and the panel could have continued for hours if it had not been the end of the conference. The conference was concluded by Mr. Merter ÖZDEMİR with great appreciation of the participants.
We also want to extend our gratitude to all delegates for their active participations. Their questions spoke to the heart of the main issues facing the industry and their eagerness to build the industry is commendable.
Noppen would like to express a special thanks to the sponsors of theTurkey Retail Development Conference: hybris Software, Hs Brands International, Flos Architectural, Symphony EYC, our communication partner Optimum Brands, strategic partner Eticad, Knowledge partners Reidin and Bilginet for their support to the event. We have no doubt that your contributions helped in making this event a success