Turkey's largest grocery chain BİM to open premium store in 2015
ANKARADec 24, 2014 - 12:00 am GMT+3
Dec 24, 2014 12:00 am
Turkish discount grocer BİM is set to open its premium supermarket, FİLE, in Istanbul in the first quarter of next year, a senior company official said Wednesday.
The company aims to open 10 stores at different locations in the Istanbul province by 2016.
"People and their families in Turkey are experiencing significant changes in consumption habits because of steady economic growth in recent years," Haluk Dörtlüoğlu, executive committee member of BİM, said.
"Our customers want to access low price and high quality products besides basic foodstuffs. We aim to respond to this challenge with FİLE," Dörtlüoğlu said.
He said the average store size of the new format would be approximately 1,000 square meters and would offer around 3,500 different products.
"The store will also offer its customers fresh fruit and vegetable products, bakery and fresh meat in a special area of the store," he added.
BİM, which is trading under BİMAŞ on the Istanbul Stock Exchange, increased its sales by 12.4 percent in the first nine months of 2014 to 8.8 billion ($4.3 billion) from 7.9 billion in the same period of 2014.
The company introduced its discount format in 1995 with success. BİM currently has more than 4,681 stores, including 208 stores in Morocco and 67 in Egypt.
"We expect that the new project will contribute to BİM's revenue in medium and long term," Yeşim Çoban, a research experts at Atig investment said.
Migros, another premium retailer, ranked second to BİM with 1,129 stores in Turkey, Kazakhstan and Macedonia, and is targeting more than 8 billion Turkish liras of sales this year.
According to experts, the reason for BİM's leading position in grocery retailing is that it operates the largest number of outlets, and it continues to benefit from increasing consumer demand for discounters in general.
BİM also has its own private label products which deliver a higher margin than products from external producers, analysts said.
"I think BİM has entered a segment which is very competitive in Turkey because fresh fruit and vegetable products, bakery and fresh meat " are very different to manage. It's not like textile or consumer goods," said Murat Ergene, general manager and founder of the HGA Group-Turkey. "This is not what BİM has done until today."
"So I am sure they will benefit from their huge buying power," Ergene explained. "However, they will face a tough, complex environment as well.
Storage of fresh food is not easy, and Turkey is not like Germany or any other European country. Turkey has a warm climate which makes things more difficult," he said.
"However if they succeed, this will be very good for consumers," Ergene added.