It is no secret that organized retail in Turkey currently faces a “borderline wall” built by geographic conditions, government policy and persistent “structural” issues that hamper growth, create questions on survival, and destroy clear visions of the future.

The first truth: the size of organized retail market grew from a share of less than 15% in 2001 to over 40% today; AND, during the last 15 years, the size of the national retail market tripled ( how and why, is a question for further discussion)
The second truth: everything else remains the same. Distribution of income remains as it ever was, with 1.5% of population in control of at least 35% of wealth and top 25 % of population creating more than 75% of business for organised retail. The rest of the population suffers from insufficient income and tools (such as education, social organisation) for a prosperous future. This was and still is the base of the “borderline wall” for organized retail and functions as the chief stumbling block on plans for balanced geographic growth.

The bricks of the borderline wall consist of two factors: urban form and human resources :
(1) Distribution of income and the related geographic/social/cultural factors create a strong push for migration to urban areas which in turn destroys chances for planned urban growth, creating meaningful urban experiences and life-styles. As a result, potential for planned growth of organized retail diminishes ; shopping mall development fails ( naturally) to compensate for structural deficiencies in management of urban form.
(2) Development of human resources for organized retail to tackle the problems defined above, remains as a bottleneck.   In terms of public administration, creating professional and academic development opportunities for the retail business remains outside of the list of priorities. Only 3% of companies in organized retail have been able to provide in-house human resource solutions. The rest remains as the top stone of the borderline wall to be carried on the “shoulders” of innovative retail managers and bosses in love with their jobs.

How do we proceed?
In the short and medium term, organised retail can jump over the borderline wall by seeing the real great window of opportunity: concentrate on developing human resources skills for independent retail businesses and start-ups. The skills of young potential retail entrepreneurs born after 1990 and now defined by digital revolution, can create the base for steady and sustainable growth for organised retail in 2020 s.

Let’s get down to work. Train your competition to become your future CEOs.


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