Amazon firms up plans for Turkish expansion

Amazon is taking active steps for its move into Turkey, with reports saying the retail giant is on the lookout for warehouse space in central Istanbul.

Last year, the global company ended ongoing rumours about its expansion into Turkey when it formally entered the market under the name of Amazon Turkey Services Management and Support Services Limited Company. Officially headquartered in Besiktas, the company’s now on the hunt for a suitable commercial property in Istanbul, seeking a 5000 square metre venue to lease for its operations.

Amazon Turkey

The online giant is in a period of growth and expansion. Last year, Amazon entered the online retail market in the Middle East with its purchase of Souq, one of the Gulf’s biggest e-commerce companies. The company also bought the US food giant Whole Foods Market, for US$13.7 billion. Its move into Turkey is different: instead of acquiring a company, it’s starting operations from scratch.

Reports say Amazon’s Turkish team has been doing its homework, with market research being conducted into everything from commission rates to products, and meeting suppliers and wholesalers.

Although the company isn’t expected to be fully operational until later this year, Turkish customers can still shop at amazon.com.tr. This url redirects users to the German version of the site, where shoppers can navigate and purchase in Turkish.

Online shopping

Ecommerce in Turkey

Turkey, with its 70-million strong, increasingly middle class population, has huge e-commerce potential. In 2016, e-commerce accounted for 3.5 percent of Turkey’s trade, with a volume of US$8 billion.

This year, the Turkish e-commerce association ETID believes this figure will increase by 30 percent, netting around $12 billion.

ETID chairman said online shopping in Turkey has seen constant growth, and e-commerce will soon become a part of everyday life in Turkey, especially as established Turkish retailers optimise their digital platforms.

Founded in 1994 by Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com began selling books and later expanded to include products and services.

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