Grocery stores are a must for newcomers to Turkey, and Istanbul offers many options for purchasing groceries. At Deal Real Estate, we are dedicated to helping newcomers by showcasing the best supermarkets in Istanbul.
Turkey's grocery industry is thriving, with numerous successful chains operating nationwide. Although international chains dominate the market, Turkish brands are also making significant strides in providing top-quality service. Let's delve into some of the leading grocery businesses in Turkey.
Traditionally, food was bought and sold in small neighborhood bazaars and "Bakkals" (local stores). However, hypermarkets are gaining popularity in Turkey, driven by urbanization and the demand for convenience. Supermarkets and chain-owned stores are expected to become the go-to places for Turks to purchase groceries in the coming years.
As of 2016, the top 141 Turkish supermarket businesses owned 24,671 stores nationwide. These supermarkets often stock high-end and imported items, making them an attractive option for exporters looking to tap into Turkey's $5 billion import industry.
BIM, known for its principle of providing high-quality goods at reasonable prices, has become the most well-known grocery brand in Turkey. BIM branches can be found on almost every street and corner, making it a convenient option for many people. However, BIM does not carry upscale items or fresh produce, so customers may need to visit other markets for those items.
Initially launched in 1996, Carrefour didn't gain significant traction until 2014, when it started competing with other Turkish supermarket giants. The grocery store has made substantial investments in technology and human resources and has also been a proponent of environmental sustainability. Carrefour currently has 686 shops, 11 warehouses, and formats such as Hyper, Super, Gourmet, and Mini in 41 cities, employing 11,000 people.
Migros, one of Turkey's oldest and largest grocery companies, has its roots in Switzerland. The Migros brand first appeared in Istanbul in 1954 with the support of Fahrettin Kerim Gökay, the governor and mayor of Istanbul. Although it initially faced challenges, Migros was acquired by the renowned Turkish corporation Koç Holding in 1975 and flourished. Migros offers premium goods at competitive prices and has different store layouts depending on the area, with M Migros focusing on necessities, MM Migros offering a more comprehensive selection, MMM Migros carrying textiles, electronics, books, and more, and 5M Migros being a large mall with other brands.
A101, currently employing over 61,000 people and operating 11,000 outlets throughout Turkey, is one of the world's top 10 fastest-growing retail firms, according to the Deloitte Global Powers of Retail 2021 Report. It is also the first Turkish company with 100% local capital and is known for its commitment to social activities, employing many women and disabled persons in Turkey. A101 also offers a same-day delivery internet shopping app, which 5 million people have downloaded as of 2022. The mission of A101 is to provide consumers with high-quality food and supplies at reasonable prices while meeting or exceeding quality and supply criteria.
Sok Market, a brand under Yildiz Holdings, may not be well-known to many. Still, according to Yildiz, it operates with 400 distributors in Turkey alone, 5,200 suppliers, 2,900 farms, and 63,500 employees worldwide. They take pride in being a multi-country, multi-diversity organization and claim to understand their customer's needs deeply.