Turkish small stores complain of rapid rise in number of malls
The number shopping malls in Turkey has increased by 27.5 percent in the last five years to 412, putting more pressure on the already struggling shop owners, the head the country’s biggest shop owners confederation has said.
“The business hours for these malls, which take the lion’s share of our shop owners’ hard-earned money should be rearranged and decreased,” Confederation of Turkish Tradesmen and Craftsmen (TESK) President Bendevi Palandöken said in a written statement on Jan. 28.
Palandöken noted that while the number of malls has increased by 27.5 percent in the last five years, their total revenues have gone up by 120 percent, from 60 billion Turkish Liras ($11.3 billion) to 132 billion liras ($24.9 billion).
“During the same period, the total number of shop owners has increased from 1.57 million to 1.75 million. This shows that the uncontrolled growth of the malls has its toll on the small businesses,” he added.
Palandöken said the malls have all kinds of shops, including barber shops and tailor shops, and by providing shuttles to their customers, the malls also hit the businesses of taxi and minibus drivers.
He also noted that the number of malls is forecast to increase to 450 at the end of 2019.
“Revenue target of malls set for 2023 is 200 billion liras. Business hours of malls should be reconsidered. Malls should be closed at hours when shop owners normally make money. People flock to malls during holidays. The municipalities of Ankara and the Mediterranean province of Antalya had agreed last year that malls should be closed during religious holiday. I hope this decision will set an example for other municipalities,” Palandöken said.
The Turkish Statistical Office (TÜİK) recently reported that confidence in the country’s retail trade sector slipped in January.
The retail trade confidence index was 92.5 points this month, down 4 percent from December, the data showed.