The drop in the value of the Turkish lira has not only led to an increase in the number of tourists this season in Turkey, but has also affected the retail expenditures of foreign tourists, particularly in the luxury retail sector. Luxury brands now expect record figures in turnover, with tourists forming long queues in front of shopping malls, according to a report from Turkish newspaper Hürriyet.
Queues were seen at the weekend in front of luxury brands in many shopping malls in Istanbul. The shopping mall officials said that the number of tourists shopping at the malls increased compared to the previous year. "With the euro rising, tourists flocked to the stores. Turkey has become the most suitable country in terms of price, including the tax-free sales," officials said.
Istanbul's İstinyePark and Zorlu Center, where many luxury brands are located, are flooded with tourists. Over the weekend, tourists who queued in front of the stores at the opening of the business day for shopping malls showed great interest in products such as expensive bags, shoes and coats. Those waiting in the queues were mainly Middle Eastern and Asian customers, and it was stated that significant turnover figures were reached even though these stores did not apply any discounts.
"The exchange rate cannot be reflected in prices in one day. Tourists are aware of this. With the opening of the mall in the morning, there was almost an influx of tourists," officials of a luxury chain store said.
İstinyePark General Manager Uğur Berk said the number of tourists surged by 30 percent in İstinyePark compared to the same period last year. "The rise of the euro has contributed to the turnover of luxury brands. Visitor figures to the shopping malls have increased significantly. It is also observed that tourists are making mass purchases. This applies not only to the luxury brands, but also to the other brands," Berk added.