The most aggressive retailers in the world, which include companies such as Advance Auto Parts, Bed Bath & Beyond and Autozone open more than 10 stores every month. Even if it is not the same as in the rest of the world, in recent years the activities of Turkish retailers have accelerated considerably. Those who in the past planned to open 5-10 stores a year are now making calculations on a monthly or even weekly basis. The most aggressive companies, such as Goldaş and Migros, are pursuing a strategy of opening “two stores a week”, while the target for the fast ones such as Teknosa, Sarar, Collezione, Bellona and Mudo is “one store a week”.
If one was to ask which is the most talked about company in the world, the one which is followed most closely and most frequently taken as a role model, then the answer would undoubtedly be Wal-Mart. In fact, when one considers it, this interest in Wal-Mart is not unfounded at all. The fact that it has 6,141 stores all over the world which are visited by 175 million people a week is itself sufficient to explain this interest. But there are other reasons. Wal-Mart, which is acknowledged to be the largest retailer in the world today, is also one of the most aggressive companies in the world. In 2005 Wal-Mart opened an average of 31.9 stores a month. This means that all over the world an average of one Wal-Mart store is opened every day. The company accelerated in 2006 and opened 852 stores, which works out at an average of 71 per month. That means that two new Wal-Marts were opened every day. Even if it is not as fast as Wal-Mart, another example of a rapidly expanding retailer is Home Depot, which is the second largest retailer in the US and the third largest in the world. The company has more than 2,000 thousand stores which are visited by 22 million people a week and is one of the most followed retailers in the world. The company pursues an aggressive expansion policy and in the six months from August 2006 to January 2007 it opened 57 new stores in the US and Canada alone. This means that the company opened an average of 9.5 stores a month.
As can be seen from the examples above, as the retail sector expands in the world in general, the speed at which these companies are growing is mind-boggling. When we exclude exceptions such as Wal-Mart, we see that aggressive retailers grow by opening two new stores every week. For example, GAP, the world famous star of the clothing sector, closed 2005 with 3,053 companies. The company then announced that it had opened 104 new stores in the first nine months of 2006. That means that GAP opened an average of two new stores a week. The company is acknowledged to be one of the most aggressive players in the clothing sector.
Is Turkey Aggressive?
When we look at Turkey from the perspective of global trends, it is of course slow when compared with the rest of the world, but the retail sector is nevertheless extremely aggressive in relation to its own internal dynamics.
In fact, in Turkey retailing is a new sector, which has just started out and which is still developing; and retail companies should be evaluated in the light of this. When we look at Migros, which has the largest retail chain in Turkey, we see that it has grown in parallel to the global trend by a strategy of opening two new stores a week. Migros, which opens eight new stores a month, is the most aggressively growing retailer in Turkey.
The second most aggressive retailer in 2006 was Bellona, which opened an average of 5.5 stores a month, while the third was İstikbal with five new stores a month. When we consider that both companies belong to the same group then we can say that the İstikbal group opened an average of 10.5 stores a month in 2006.
Teknosa, which is expanding rapidly in consumer electronics, opened an average of 4.6 stores a month in 2006. Teknosa is followed by Goldaş from the jewellery sector, which has come to the fore in recent years through its aggressive strategies and opens an average of four stores a month.
Sarar and Collezione, which are amongst the leaders in the clothing sector, and Yataş, one of the longest established brands in the furniture sector, opened an average of three new stores a month in 2006 and took their places amongst the most aggressive retailers.