ITO: Rent Call for Shopping Malls and Street Stores

President of the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce (ITO), Sekib Avdagic, stated that, within the scope of the new type of coronavirus (Covid-19) measures, the time that the stores are open is less than 40 hours per week, and said, “Rent prices aggravate the burden of businesses. It is necessary to develop a method that will not victimize the landlord or the tenants. “

Istanbul Chamber of Commerce (ITO) President Sekib Avdagic stated that as ITO, they held a meeting with the chairman of 3 important associations representing the brands and the retail sector regarding the problems caused by the epidemic in the retail sector.

Avdagic stated that the President of the United Brands Association (BMD) Sinan Oncel, the President of the Category Merchandising Association (KMD) Serhan Tinastepe and the President of the Registered Trademarks Association (TMD) Izzet Stamati attended the meeting held by video conferencing method.

Explaining that more than 500 brands represented by the 3 industry associations they met with have 115 thousand stores and sales points in Turkey and abroad, Avdagic noted that these stores and sales points have more than 700 thousand employees.

Stating that the problems related to leasing processes in retailing were discussed at the meeting, Avdagic said that the chairmen of the association drew attention to the fact that the time the stores were open during the epidemic decreased to less than 40 hours a week.


Referring to the importance of the retail sector for youth employment, Sekib Avdagic said, “Almost 90% of the employees in this sector are under the age of 30. Therefore, our retail and retail sector has a great contribution to youth employment. We will provide the necessary support to this sector, and at the same time, we will ensure that our young people protect their jobs.”

Stating that international brands and other high quality stores in Istanbul are at a level to compete with the world, Avdagic said:

“Turkey has demonstrated a unique success in its retailing concept. It was not easy to come here. We have achieved world quality by making great efforts over the years and we have a say. We must preserve the qualification and advantage of Istanbul as a very important shopping destination such as Paris, Rome and London for the post-epidemic.

Now, we must turn the accumulation and quality that Istanbul has achieved in retailing into a great advantage after the epidemic with the qualified workforce of our retail sector. Because after the epidemic, our brand retailing will play the biggest role in the revival of our services sector, especially tourism.”

Stating that the sector representatives emphasized that “the rental fees paid for the time periods of which the decision was taken to be closed make the burden of the enterprises heavier,” Avdagic said, “Indeed, the rental fees increase the burden of the enterprises. (Covid-19) Within the scope of the measures, the time that the stores are open has decreased to less than 40 hours a week.

Rent prices increase the burden on businesses. It is necessary to develop a method that will not victimize the landlord or the tenants. Currently, the stores pay a share of the turnover along with the rent to the shopping centers. The brands agree to increase the share of turnover instead of rent, which is defined as ‘turnover rent system’.”


ITO President Sekib Avdagic stated that a similar problem is experienced in street stores as well as shopping malls, and that street stores are the most dynamic and necessary points for social life and said, “We must overcome the problems that threaten street stores. Here, both the investors, the store owners and the employee who has served that business for years must be protected. This consensus, which will allow us to overcome difficult days together, will keep us alive.”

Pointing out that another issue that needs to be resolved is the issue of common expenses in shopping centers, Avdagic said, “In each shopping center, separate fees are collected under the name of ‘common area expenses’. However, these amounts differ greatly from each other. While the monthly common expenditure paid in one of the two shopping centers in the same location is ₺22 per square meter, it is ₺70 in the other. It is very difficult to understand.”

Avdagic noted that there are problems arising from contracts regarding stores that want to leave the shopping malls, and these problems need to be resolved.

Source: NTV / Translated by Irem Yildiz

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