The Central Bank's move to drop interest rates in an attempt to revitalize the domestic market have yet to create the expected shopping revival leading up to New Year's Eve. Despite the Central Bank's interest rate cut made right before the shopping craze for the New Year, traditionally Turkey's highest shopping season, the initial signals coming in from a variety of sectors shows there may not have been a satisfying recovery.
Mixed signals are coming in from sectors at this time which should have been the most active 15 days of the year for shopping. While some sectors are experiencing a slight increase in momentum, others are clear-out facing regression.
CORPORATE ORDERS DROP
The retail sector, which rakes in 15 percent of its entire turnover in the month of December, is especially seeing losses in corporate gift sales.
Orka Group General Coordinator Osman Arar says that due to nearly half of all firms taking austerity measures, they are pulling back on making gift orders. "As Damat-Tween, we were unable to make corporate sales to 50 percent of our former customers.
Turgut Toplusoy, the boss of Roman says they are also experiencing a serious drop in sales this year.
CHOCOLATES GO DOWN AS WELL
The chocolate sector has also been quite sedentary this year.
Güllüoğlu Executive Board Chairman Nejat Güllü also says that corporate sales have dropped this year. Explaining that firms are taking cuts on their budget, Güllüoğlu states, "New Year's Eve used to be like a holiday. We couldn't produce enough. This year however, orders for baklava and chocolates have dropped significantly. "
AUTOMOTIVES ON THE MOVE
The stillness in the automotive market which has prevailed since the start of December has suddenly flipped over gaining momentum from a series of brand-offered campaigns. It is anticipated that between 110,000 and 115,000 passenger cars and light-commercial vehicles will have been sold this month. Automotive Distributers Association (ODD) Chairman Mustafa Bayraktar states, "Everyone is focused on waiting to do things in the last week. The market goes as far as brands push them to."
SALES ON THE RISE IN ELECTRONICS
Electronics are experiencing fruitful sales leading up to the New Year. Teknosa General Manager Mehmet Nane says they are quite pleased with sales. "Some people are even buying TV's or refrigerators as New Year's Eve gifts."
INTEREST PEAKED IN PROMOTIONAL CAMPAIGNS
This year many companies went for promotional items to offer as staff gifts. According to Esad Ahmet Özdem, Executive Board Chairman of the Promotional Products Producers and Sellers Association (Promotürk), there is a serious calm having taken over the final quarter of the year. Noting that sales have increased over the past 15 days, Özdem says, "Our sales of datebooks, calendars, pens, table clocks and technological and textile products are increasing."
CREDIT GROWTH REMAINS AT JUST EIGHT ONE THOUSANDTH
Traditionally December is the month to see the highest rise in credit, however this year growth for the 14 day-period remained at just eight percent out of a thousand. In bustling times of years past, that figure would go up to four percent. During the same time frame in 2011, there was a 1.3 percent growth, whereas in December of 2010, that figure went all the way up to 3.5 percent.
This is a translation of an article originally written by Özge Yavuz.
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