The workshop organized by the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce (ITO) Retail Profession Committee was marked by the debate on keeping chain markets closed on Sundays.
ITO Retail Profession Committee discussed the issue of closing the markets on Sunday with the workshop it organized. All companies participating in the workshop voted in favor of closing the markets on Sunday. Istanbul Provincial Director of Agriculture and Provincial Director of Trade stated that if all actors in the sector agree, state institutions can approve such a decision.
The Retail Professional Committee, which is the second largest professional committee of the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce (ITO) with nearly 25 thousand members, organized a workshop and discussed the problems of the sector. The most important agenda item of the workshop was the issue of ‘closing all markets on Sundays’, which the sector has been emphasizing for years.
Yavuz Altun, Chairman of the ITO Retail Profession Committee and CEO of Happy Center, chaired the council. Ahmet Ozer, Vice President of ITO, Ismail Mentese, Istanbul Provincial Director of Trade, and Ahmet Yavuz Karaca, Istanbul Provincial Director of Agriculture, also attended the workshop.
In the workshop to which all members registered to the Retail Profession Committee were invited, it was pointed out that it has become a necessity to close the markets on Sundays. “Chain markets need to close on Sundays for social balance and individual freedoms. This is also one of the important expectations of the sector. Because small shopkeepers should also breathe. Otherwise, they will have no chance to live.” Today, there are nearly 150 thousand grocery shopkeepers in Turkey, while more than 46 thousand discount and national chains and around 5 thousand 500 local chains operate. The number of grocery stores closed in the last 10 years is estimated to be close to 100 thousand.
15-20 thousand new grocery stores may enter the system
It was also stated at the workshop that if market chains are closed on Sunday, consumers will go to grocery stores and at least 15-20 thousand new grocery stores will join the ecosystem in Istanbul. In this case, it was emphasized that market employees would have the opportunity to spend Sundays with their families and an important step would be taken for social life.
The workshop also discussed the issue of selling Tekel (tobacco and alcohol) products only in grocery stores and small businesses instead of markets. In the workshop, it was stated that if the markets close on Sunday and Tekel products are not sold in chain markets, there will be a decrease of 8 to 12 percent in the turnover of the markets, and it was agreed that although chain markets lose this turnover, this figure is a price that must be sacrificed for the survival of small tradesmen. At the end of the workshop, the issue of closing the markets on Sunday was put to the votes of the participants. All members participating in the workshop voted in favor of closing the markets on Sunday and a consensus was reached on this issue. Istanbul Provincial Director of Agriculture and Provincial Director of Trade also stated that if all actors in the sector are in agreement, state institutions can also approve such a decision.