No more malls needed in Turkey’s big cities

No more malls needed in Turkey’s big cities

Güneş Kömürcüler ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
No more malls needed in Turkey’s big cities

Many shops have been emptied due to the lack of shoppers’ demand at the Atakule mall, the first shopping mall in Turkey’s capital city, where four malls have already been closed down. DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZ

There appears no need for new shopping malls in Turkey’s big cities, such as the one earmarked for the Taksim Gezi Park area in Istanbul, as the number of malls has increased normal standards considerably and more are being abandoned each day, according to sector experts.

“Turkey’s big cities now suffer from an over-accumulation of malls. Turkey is taking a really dangerous course by building too many malls,” Murat İzci, founder of KDM Consulting, which provides services to the retail sector, told the Hürriyet Daily News yesterday.

The need for malls in a country is measured by the portion of gross leasable area (GLA) of malls per 1,000 inhabitants. The average shopping centre provision per 1,000 inhabitants in Turkey is now 107 square meters although in the EU is around 250 square meters. “We, as sector representatives, had always said Turkey should catch up with the EU numbers, but now we see we were wrong,” İzci noted.

There are too many malls, specifically in some of the big city centers. For example, the average shopping centre provision per 1,000 inhabitants in Bakırköy, one of the biggest districts of Istanbul, is around 1,800 square meters, almost eight times the EU average, and in Şişli, an area neighboring Gezi Park, it is around 1.500 square meters, seven times of the EU average, a sector expert said.

There were only 46 malls in Turkey in 2000, according to global real estate consultancy firm Jones Lang LaSalle, now there are 299 shopping malls.

100 more malls by 2015

Around 100 new malls are planned to be built by 2015, according to a report, titled ‘Potentials of Shopping Malls in Turkey for 2013-2015,’ which was prepared by GYODER, the association of real estate investment companies. Over 80 percent of them are planned to be built in Istanbul and Ankara, the capital city of Turkey.

According to Özlem Gökçe, deputy president of GYODER, the growth trend in Turkey’s organized retail industry has slowed down. “This situation results in the diminishing demand for renting shops in big malls,” she said on May 30 at a press meeting.

Around 24 malls had recently been closed down in Turkey as they could not attract shoppers and then retailers. Eleven of the closed malls were in Istanbul, and four were in Ankara.