Carrefour, the leader of the European retail sector, is expanding its target in Turkey. The company, which gathered Gima, ChampionSa and Carrefour stores under a single roof in 2006, opened 22 new stores in 2007 and renewed another 56 stores. Guillaume Vicaire, the new general manager of Carrefoursa, which is locked in a fierce competition with Migros to become number one in the sector, says: “We want to add Turkey to the countries in which we are the leader.”
What is Carrefour’s market share of the organized retail sector?
According to the data for 2007, Carrefour has a market share of 13,6 percent and ranks second after Migros, which is the market leader with 20,5 percent. In 2007, we had a turnover of YTL 2 billion in Turkey. We have 20 hypermarkets and over 100 supermarkets. Last year we opened 18 supermarkets. In 2010, we want to have 40 hypermarkets, 200 supermarkets, a market share of 15 percent and turnover of €2 billion.
What are your targets for this year?
We shall open 25 new stores. Nearly 20 of these will be supermarkets and 4-7 hypermarkets. We are in a period where customers know and appreciate the Carrefour brand. Now is the time to accelerate. We are aiming for growth of 10-20 percent in turnover. In 2007, we had profits of YTL 30 million.
How are your growth strategies shaped?
We shall increase the commercial activities of our existing stores. We shall continue to grow with the Carrefour brand in hypermarkets and supermarkets. When we see an opportunity, we shall buy more local chains.
Which of the local chains interest you?
We haven’t conducted any studies yet. But, in principle, at CarrefourSa we are ready to acquire local chains and integrate them into our own structure.
Where will the 25 stores you will open this year be located?
We want to maintain and strengthen our presence in Istanbul. We shall invest a lot in the Black Sea region. There will be new investments in Samsun, Trabzon, Mersin, Izmir and Ankara.
How much do you plan to invest in all of these projects?
We shall make investments of €100 million this year, of which 80 percent will be in new stores.
What are Turkish consumer’s habits like?
Turkish consumers are very different. Some categories are very unfamiliar to me. There is an unbelievable demand for products such as cheese, olives, sucuk sausage and dried fruits. There are a lot of purchases of electronic goods. In addition, credit card expenditure is extremely high. They are very well-informed when it comes to quality.
What share do Carrefour’s own products have in your turnover?
Our own brand products currently have a share of less than 10 percent of our turnover. But we want to introduce some innovation in these products. We currently have over 30,000 products.