Kingfisher chief executive Ian Cheshire has said the company plans to open 100 stores in Turkey, saying the country is “one of our big growth opportunities for the future.”
Speaking to Retail Week at the opening of its 35th Turkish store in Ankara yesterday, Cheshire said the country’s population of 74m and projected GDP growth make it a key focus for investment in the next five to ten years.
“Turkey has big potential for us. The population is bigger than the UK or France, and future GDP forecasts are bigger than Spain or Italy’s,” he said.
The company works in partnership with the Turkish company Koc Group, forming the chain Koctas in 2000. Cheshire said between six and eight stores will be opened a year, and said the chain is generating enough cash flow to finance its own expansion.
He said: “It’s one of those countries people have pre-conceptions about. They don’t think it’s that major. Until you come and see it, it’s hard to get across the scale of it.”
The Turkish business made £300m in sales last year, and Kingfisher made £15m in profit – the UK DIY group receives 50% of profit made.
Cheshire added Kingfisher is set to increase its use of Turkish suppliers, saying their products are high quality but low cost.