Spending power on the Turkish high street fuelling growth in shopping malls

A sign of Turkey’s burgeoning middle class and growing economy, recent statistics show that the retail sector in the country is continuing to flourish and there are now 327 shopping malls in 57 provinces there, employing more than 385,000 people.

Turkey’s Shopping Mall Investors’ Association (AYD) also confirmed in October that the country’s shopping mall sector has a target of growing by 10 billion Turkish liras to 60 billion liras during 2013. The retail sector was one of biggest job creators in 2012, according to official numbers, and the shopping centre sector has boomed in the last 15 years.

There were just 46 malls in Turkey in 2000, according to global real estate consultancy firm Jones Lang LaSalle – by 2023 this figure is expected to have reached 520. “We aim to reach 60 billion liras of revenue at the end of the year from an average of 1.6 billion visitors,” the AYD told Hurriyet Daily News.

Typically, each mall creates between 1,000 and 1,500 jobs. Much of the growth in the retail sector has driven by the Turkey’s expanding younger population and their hunger for global fashion brands. Also, as more younger Turks gain employment with the increasing number of multinational firms setting up in the country, their spending power will increase.

This trend looks set to continue, according to latest Eurostat figures which show that Turkey has the youngest population in Europe by median age. With a median age of 29.7, Turkey ranks first in the Old Continent while the European Union population stands at an average age of 41.5. The share of the oldest segment of the population aged over 80 is 1.4 per cent in Turkey as opposed to European Union countries’ 4.9 per cent.