SEVGİ SAYAR BAŞARAN
ISTANBUL – Referans
A new era began in Turkey when BİM, now the county's biggest discount retailer, introduced the discount market model of food retail 13 years ago. Now, partially due to the impact of the global economic crisis, this model has also grabbed the attention of the textile and household products sectors.
The new market players include Semt Tekstil Marketleri, owned by Tohum Holding, and Tedi and Evdi, which was founded by Aziz Zapsu -- the creator of BİM.
Discount markets have drawn attention in Turkey and around the world with the growth opportunities they provide during periods of crisis. The eight brands operating in food, textile and household products have over 3,500 branches around Turkey.
Aziz Zapsu, who opened BİM in 1995, was a leader in creating discount stores in Turkey. The Zapsu Family, which abandoned its partnership in BİM by selling shares to the Topbaş Family, shifted its discount model to the cosmetics, household products and textile sectors.
Discount markets established in various sectors by Zapsu Family, such as For You, Evdi and Tedi, helped open a door in Turkey.
Zapsu founded Evdi, which offers small household appliances, home textiles, toys, kitchen appliances and electronic products, with his partner M. Fatih Saraç in 2006. Evdi currently has 109 branches. Zapsu also opened a ready-wear store named Tedi in 2007. Tedi, which sells cheap textile products in areas of women's, men's, baby, children's, and sportswear, as well as underwear, accessories and cosmetics, has 54 stores. Both of the brands make spot product sales on certain days of the week, as in the BİM model. The family has recently returned to the food sector with A101 stores and has 110 stores under the new brand at present.
Tohum Holding, which is active in fabric production and operates multi-floor stores, opened Semt Tekstil Marketleri in September 2007 and currently has 21 stores. The company aims to reach every corner of Istanbul and then expand into the Anatolian region.
Semt Tekstil Marketleri, which offers shirts for YTL 9 and t-shirts for YTL 7 under its slogan �Dress well, pay little,� aims to become a giant chain with 100 branches within the next three years, said Yılmaz Yaman, the managing director.
�We started to work for the establishment of Semt Marketleri in 2006. We investigated the overseas models. We wanted to establish a system based on widespread, simple styles and top-selling products, just like BİM. We open stores each month with the aim of ending the year with 30 stores.�
�A rapid growth with new players is on the horizon for different categories in discount market sector. New models will emerge in cosmetics besides food and wear,� he said.
Zapsu Family is a leader in terms of discount stores in Turkey, according to Murat Şahin, a partner at consulting firm RMS. �They realized this trend and succeeded in Turkey. The process, which first started with BİM in Turkey, is ongoing in different sectors at present,� he said. �The growth of firms is highly related with the economic conditions in Turkey. The periods of crisis are important for discount,� he added.
Şahin noted that supermarket brands called �private labels� constitute another opportunity for discount stores during a crisis. �The most important weapon of the discount supermarkets is their own brands. This can be achieved only through attaining a certain size. Discount markets have made use of all these opportunities. The market still offers noteworthy growth opportunities.�