ACROSS: WECONSULT IS BASED IN TÜRKIYE, BUT THIS CONSULTANCY COMPANY WORKS FOR INTERNATIONAL CLIENTS. PLEASE GIVE US AN OVERVIEW OF YOUR SERVICES AND PROJECTS.
ORTAÇ ÖZORTAÇ: Weconsult’s primary focus is providing consultancy services for concept development and leasing activities for retail real estate properties in Türkiye and abroad. We are actively running 15 projects both in domestic and international markets. Thanks to our professional team, which examines global examples, we aim to coordinate with the architectural team of each project to develop the most sustainable and suitable solutions for creating next-generation retail spaces. In line with the changing needs of consumers and brands, our primary focus is the renewal and functional enhancement of retail destinations. Additionally, we provide brand development services in both national and international markets. Brand development includes determining the expansion strategy of the respective brand and developing franchisee candidates if needed. We also work on improving the performance of these brands across different sales channels, such as online marketplaces and department stores.
ACROSS: WHY AND FOR WHICH BRANDS IS THE TURKISH MARKET PARTICULARLY ATTRACTIVE?
ÖZORTAÇ: Due to its young, dynamic population, resistance to financial fluctuations, and status as a tourist attraction and migration from nearby countries, we expect that in 2024, Türkiye will be a market of interest for mainstream brands. The Turkish market is an attractive destination for fast-moving brands like On Cloud, Uniqlo, Primark, and Rituals. Considering the revenue growth of lifestyle concepts and young active sports brands, there is a gap to enter the market for players in this category. The presence of JYSK could accelerate the entry of other brands in the home appliances & textile category. The Far Eastern brand MR DIY could attract various multi-segment operators.
ACROSS: WHAT ROLE DO THE ECONOMIC CHALLENGES PLAY FOR INTERNATIONAL BRANDS?
ÖZORTAÇ: Turkish brands are more resilient to economic fluctuations than foreign brands. To achieve success, foreigners learned to think and act locally. Using instruments such as price revisions, discounts, and different collections, brands can sustain their businesses. Newcomers should build up their expansion strategies well and develop strategies according to local dynamics. Decathlon offers a broader range of outerwear and textiles than its European counterparts. IKEA is expanding only with its large-scale concept, and Lacoste is positioning itself as an affordable luxury brand. So, from our point of view, the key to success is to act locally.
ACROSS: HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE CURRENT CONSUMER CLIMATE IN TÜRKIYE?
ÖZORTAÇ: The high number of tourists in Istanbul and coastal cities significantly impacted the booming revenue and footfall figures in 2023. Retail expenditures in other cities also developed beyond expectations. The outlook for 2024 is anticipated to be more need-oriented than the previous year, stable in the food & beverage and entertainment categories, and satisfying for luxury brands.
ACROSS: MANY TURKISH BRANDS ARE EXPANDING TOWARD EUROPE. WHAT MOTIVATES THESE BRANDS, AND WHICH BRANDS WOULD YOU RECOMMEND TAKING THIS STEP?
ÖZORTAÇ: Europe represents a significant market with a strong economy and purchasing power. This increases the appetite of Turkish brands to expand and increase their market share in European countries. Expanding into new markets, especially Europe, allows Turkish brands to diversify their customer base and reduce financial risks by reducing dependence on a single market. Additionally, expanding into Europe allows Turkish brands to enhance and strengthen their awareness on an international scale. In this regard, Weconsult offers Turkish brands a comprehensive 360-degree expansion model, including physical stores, online platforms, wholesale, warehouses, and more.
ACROSS: EUROPE IS CURRENTLY NOT NECESSARILY THE PLACE TO BE FOR RETAILERS, WHILE MANY NEW INNOVATIVE BRANDS ARE EMERGING IN TÜRKIYE. WHAT CAN THE MARKET LEARN FROM YOUNG TURKISH CONCEPTS?
ÖZORTAÇ: Young Turkish brands are very agile and adaptable to market changes. Their ability to quickly adjust to changing consumer preferences and market trends is a valuable strength. Brands mainly focus on local and international trends. They tailor their products and marketing activities according to customers’ needs. Many brands effectively increase their online presence through digital platforms and e-commerce. Furthermore, Turkish brands often offer affordable products with a strong price and quality performance, leading to stable customer loyalty.
Ortaç Özortaç is Partner at WECONSULT.