14 Ekim 2011 Cuma

Tesco may buy retail chains in Turkey, top executive says

Wednesday, September 14, 2011
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News

Tesco may consider to acquire Turkish retail chains, says Mike Arnott (L). AA photo AFP photo

Tesco, a global grocery and merchandise retailer headquartered in the United Kingdom which also owns Turkish retailer Kipa in western Turkey, might acquire local retail chains in the Turkish market, a top executive said Wednesday.

“We may consider acquiring some Turkish retail chains as we are open to all possibilities to grow in Turkey,” said Mike Arnott, trading director at Tesco Kipa, speaking to the Hürriyet Daily News on the sidelines of a press conference held in Istanbul.

Tesco, which pulled out of the Japanese market last month, is planning for strong growth in Turkey’s retail market because of strong demand in consumption despite the ongoing global crisis, Arnott said. The company aims to increase its number of supermarkets from 131 to 150 by the end of this year, he said.

Turkish exports to Europe
The company also has operations in Hungary, Czech Republic and Poland, and started to buy products from Turkish suppliers last year. The amount of non-food exports from Turkey to Tesco supermarkets in Central Europe reached 300 million Turkish Liras by the end of last year. Turkey’s food exports last year reached $3.5 million (6.24 million liras).

“Last year we introduced Turkey’s simit (ring-shaped bread covered with sesame seeds), halva (nut-based confectionary butter), and fish to Central Europe,” he said, adding that this was the first step of the company’s project to further source Turkish produce. The Turkish Exporters’ Assembly, or TÝM, organized bilateral meetings for Tesco executives with nearly 60 Turkish suppliers on Wednesday. Tesco currently imports Turkish non-food products such as toys, bikes, electronics, furniture, hardware, kitchenware, textile, pencils and paints, he said.

“My family uses the Turkish products and I am satisfied with their quality and design. I think Turkey can become a major source for Tesco soon,” said Arnott, adding that the total volume of the company’s non-food imports from Turkey would rise within a few months.

Employment figures have approached 10,000 for Tesco Kipa and the company provided nearly 87 percent of the total products on their store’s shelves in Turkey, Arnott said. “We want to stay in Turkey and we aim to help Turkish suppliers expand to world markets through our company,” he said.

“Turkey has so much more to offer,” said Commercial Director of Central Europe Hardline at Tesco Chris Holmes.

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