Shopping malls on rise despite financial worries in Turkey

Shopping malls on rise despite financial worries in Turkey

Shopping malls on rise despite financial worries in Turkey

Many have complained about the saturation of shopping centers across the length and breadth of Turkey, but the market for malls shows no signs of abating amid bullish growth forecasts, according to sector representatives. DAILY NEWS Photo/Emrah Gürel

Turkey’s shopping mall sector is looking to grow by 10 billion Turkish Liras to 60 billion liras this year despite continuing global uncertainties, a sector representative has said.

“The malls’ revenue index increased to 163 points in August, an 18 percent increase in almost all categories from the previous year. We have had a great year as a mall investor in Turkey,” said Shopping Mall Investors’ Association (AYD) head Hulusi Belgü.

The sector appeared to raise revenues by 17 percent in technological goods, 17 percent in clothing, 13 percent in shoes and bags, 12 percent in foods and beverages and 24 percent in other categories.

“We aim to reach 60 billion liras of revenue at the end of the year from an average of 1.6 billion visitors,” Belgü said, adding that there were now 327 malls in 57 provinces of Turkey that were employing more than 385,000 people.

Business continues to be good for Turkish retailers, Belgü said, but added that losses in the lira’s value could pose a problem for the sector in the upcoming months.

The retail sector was one of biggest job creators in 2012, according to official numbers.

There were just 46 malls in Turkey in 2000, according to global real estate consultancy firm Jones Lang LaSalle. The figure is expected to rise to 520 by 2023.

Each mall provides between 1,000 and 1,500 people with jobs. The increasing young population and its demand for global fashion brands have helped to spur on the development of further shopping centers around the country. The centers have grown by a consistent 15 percent for the last five years.

Many sector representatives, however, have warned about the disproportionate distribution of malls, specifically in big cities, as a glut of shopping centers in certain areas have resulted in many malls being abandoned.