Western retail giants left the Russian market with few options as they exited the country one after another amid sanctions imposed on Moscow due to its invasion of Ukraine.
The market now heavily depends on those options, with Turkish producers being at the top of the list.
The leading players in the Russian retail sector, which suffered a great depression after the withdrawal of Western brands, continue their invitations for Turkish brands to invest.
Most recently, VTB, the second-largest bank in the country, whose majority shares belong to the Russian government, applied to the United Brands Association (BMD) and offered to provide credit facilities to members who will invest in Russia.
Stating that they immediately shared the request with their members, BMD Chairperson Sinan Öncel explained that the bank essentially said: “Come, open a store in my country, and I will provide you with a credit facility.”
Saying that this invitation from VTB clearly demonstrates the importance of the Turkish retail sector to Russia, Öncel said, "We certainly find this invitation remarkable. Because we are talking about the country's second-largest bank. The Russian retail sector is facing serious blood loss. We received offers from the malls that we have never entered before as a sector.”
Members will take the incoming requests into consideration, Öncel said, adding that opening stores in the country, especially through dealers, is more attractive to sector players now.
Many foreign brands exited the Russian market after Western sanctions were imposed on the country after the invasion of Ukraine, which the Kremlin refers to as “a special military operation.”
Earlier in May, major Turkish shoe retailer, FLO Mağazacılık said it was in talks to buy dozens of stores owned by fitness brand Reebok in Russia.
The month before, Anheuser-Busch InBev said it plans to exit Russia by selling its interest in a joint venture with Turkish brewer Anadolu Efes which operates in Russia and Ukraine, reporting that it expects to take a $1.1 billion charge as a result.
Some Western companies have agreed to sell their Russian assets or hand them over to local managers as they scramble to comply with sanctions over the Ukraine conflict and deal with threats from the Kremlin that foreign-owned assets may be seized.