Turkey's most popular and widespread simit - a Turkish-style bagel covered in sesame seeds - chain Simit Sarayı's talks with a chain of 80 stores in the U.K. are in progress, while its factory in the country is set to become operational within few months, the company's chairman said Friday.
Speaking to Daily Sabah's sister newspaper Sabah with regard to the company's 2018 growth objectives, Simit Sarayı Chairman Abdullah Kavukçu said they opened stores in five new countries in 2017, including Serbia, Dubai, Lebanon, Iraq and Jordan.
"We are currently operating in 22 countries. We aim to be present in at least 25 countries at the end of 2018. As we enter new markets, we continue to grow in existing countries, as well," Kavukçu said.
Noting that they have three new markets on their agenda, Kavukçu said they will continue to open new stores in both Turkey and their existing markets, adding that the number of stores in the U.K. will reach 22 by the middle of this year with the intent of raising the figure up to 40 by the end of the year.
"We are also in talks with a chain of 80 stores," he noted, adding that the Simit Sarayı factory in the U.K. will also be operational within a few months.
Pointing out that Simit Sarayı has 426 stores in 22 countries, Kavukçu stated that they have received requests from several countries to open more Simit Sarayı stores but decide according to feasibility.
Kavukçu said the company has maintained its rapid growth and expansion strategy abroad unabated since 2012.
"The fact that Turkish brands are loved abroad and the opportunities for the players in the retail sector both allow us to make quick decisions about growth. Simit Sarayı has a design that the world perceives as a ‘bakery cafe' with its innovative product range. We invest accordingly," Kavukçu continued. Stating that both domestic and international R&D centers continue to work on product diversity with Turkish, British, Italian and French specialists, Kavukçu said Simit Sarayı's architectural team is working on new concepts, as well.