Buyers from surrounding areas prefer shopping at the multitude of malls opening across Turkey, particularly Istanbul.
The number of shopping malls in Turkey has grown dramatically over the past decade. This has resulted in visitors from Germany, Russia, Iran and the Middle East turning their Turkey vacations into shopping expeditions. The number of foreign customers in malls in Turkey has doubled over the last five years.
According to the country general manager for the Danish shoe brand Ecco, Deniz Necati Erda, 31% of its customers in Turkey was foreigners. This appears to be a trend across the country. The appeal of international events such as the Istanbul Shopping Fest increases the appeal of shopping in Turkey.
The problem facing the market is the increase in tax on imported shoes. These taxes were increased by 50% during 2014 in a bid to encourage local production. According to Erda, the Turkish government should remain prudent that these protectionist measures do not affect the competitive power Turkish malls have in the region.
Ecco entered the Turkish market last year and currently holds five sales points in Istanbul. It plans to open a further five sales areas within Istanbul, which holds around 100 shopping centers. The company has doubled its funding for Turkish investment for this year and is planning to expand into Anatolia during next year.
Ecco is present in 90 countries and employs around 1200 people. The group expects to reach sales of 40000 pairs of shoes within Turkey during this year and hopes to increase its turnover by a factor of four.