Sarar, which is one of the leading clothing brands in Turkey, began in outsourcing production. Next it turned to the domestic market and then came foreign markets. In recent years it has come to prominence as the result of its race to open stores, an incredible attack from India to the US. It says that soon it will enter the Chinese and Egyptian markets.
A large number of companies which want to go global think about granting distributorships and opening stores in important cities in different countries. But, although this is easy for large companies to do, medium-sized enterprises which follow them tend to be more cautious. Indeed, Cemalettin Sarar who has chosen this route for his company’s future, says: “Opening a store abroad is no different to opening one in Turkey.” He believes that what matters is developing the right strategy, creating confidence and having enough capital…
Cemalettin Sarar says that this is the strategy that they have followed and adds that, after 15 years of outsourcing production, he and his siblings have turned to the world. Sara says that by the end of the year they will establish a company in China which will both produce and conduct marketing activities. The Sara Group is getting ready to open stores in countries such as Greece, Egypt and Israel and is really very upbeat when it comes to making Sarar into a global brand.
Sarar Companies Group Board Chairman Cemalettin Sarar explained to Capital readers the trends on the world’s markets, the critical factors in opening stores abroad and the new competition map in Turkey.
In recent years you have opened a large number of stores abroad. How did you take this decision? What kind of potential did you see and what kind of steps did you take?
We opened our first office in Düsseldorf in 2000. We began to use this to show our European customers our collections. Then we began to concentrate on opening stores and we opened our first store in Germany the same year. Immediately afterwards, in the same year, we opened stores in Belgium and Holland. We opened four stores in the same year. We saw that business was going well and we opened stores in the Czech Republic and Austria. Within a short time we had 11 stores in Europe, including in Hungary and Spain.
What are your plans for the future? Will there be new stores and new production facilities?
At the moment we have 11 stores in Europe. This number will increase to 15 by New Year. We have plans for China. We shall open stores in China like we have in Turkey and we shall open the stores ourselves. We shall also manufacture. We are engaged in ongoing negotiations. Our company will be established this year.
Sara has now become a global brand. We are conducting business everywhere in the world. My siblings and I are the second generation. We are raising and encouraging the third generation. Most recently we founded a company in Israel. For the first time in my life I became a 50-50 partner with an Israeli businessman. Now we are moving towards opening a store in Israel. Within the next six weeks we shall open stores in Tel Aviv and Haifa. We are also involved in wholesaling.
We shall also open new stores in Turkey. At the moment we have 41 stores in the country. We shall continue to open new stores with the Sara brand in major cities and large shopping malls. We have entered this business and we are continuing it successfully.
Our next target is to open 1500-200 square meter large concept stores. Sarar has a very wide product portfolio. There is Sarar, Sartorya, Interview, CCS and also Sara Woman.
In the months ahead we shall continue to compete at the highest level with these five brands. We have also entered the household textiles business. We have bought a new plant. We have very ambitious goals in this field.
HANDE D. SÜZER