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Ranking Turkey’s leading supermarket chains

Food retail covers 62% of all Turkish retail sales, totalling roughly $140 billion yearly, and it is growing at a steady rate of 8% year-on-year. Mass urbanisation and a shakeup in the ways Turks live their lives is shaking up Turkey’s grocery sector. As Turkey’s shifts towards more Western-retail models, huge players now dominate the market.

Hyper/supermarkets: a growing sector in Turkey

While the hypermarket model is starting to really establish itself in Turkey, food retail remains comparatively fragmented.

Historically, food was bought and sold at small local bazars and shops called “bakkals”. There are still around 90,000 such operations nationwide.

These tiny outlets are similar to convenience stores found in other nations in that they offer a collection of essential products in local locations. In the vast majority, these are family owned and are not operated by any major corporation, even as franchises.
Yet, supermarkets, particularly discount stores, are securing more and more retail space across Turkey. Chains such as BİM A.Ş, A101, and Migros Ticaret A.Ş have invested heavily in bricks-and-mortar operations and opened up hundreds of new shops over the past year.

It is thought that by the end of the next decade, Turks will buy their food from supermarkets, or chain-owned stores, as urbanisation and a desire for convenience become significant market drivers.

As of 2016, the top 141 Turkish supermarket chains controlled 24,671 outlets across the country. It is these companies that often feature luxury or imported goods on their shelves, meaning exporters looking to enter Turkey’s $5 billion import market should keep these grocers in mind.

Turkey’s biggest supermarkets ranked

Let’s take a look at the biggest supermarket chains in Turkey. We have chosen to rank them by size of sales, as some stores operate a much larger number of stores than others but still fail to match their rivals’ revenues.

In terms of pure sales volumes, BİM stands head and shoulders above its closest competitors. It is Turkey’s foremost discount grocery retailer accounting for about 6.7% of total market share. 2016 saw the brand’s sales revenues increase 15% against 2015’s levels, exceeding $5.5 billion.
Eager to continue its dominance, BİM is constantly engaging in a far-reaching programme of store openings – not just domestically, but overseas too. As of year-end 2016, the chain was running a total of 6,167 stores. 5,623 of these were in Turkey itself with the remaining 544 located throughout the Middle East and North Africa.

BİM has further expansion in mind for 2017. By the end of this year, it is aiming to open 25 stores in Turkey, 60 stores in Morocco and 50 stores in Egypt. It will also be moving away from pure discount retailing into models more in line with Western supermarkets’ layouts, such as stores featuring deli counters and non-food items. So far, 48 BİM stores have been converted to this new platform in Turkey.

BİM works with Turkish food importers to procure goods.

Migros Ticaret A.Ş

Differing from BİM’s discount-focus is Migros Ticaret. Its portfolio is more diverse, with the brand experimenting with a number of retail formats. Its chief Migros brand covers the discount side of operations, while the Macrocenter banner covers hyper/supermarket stores, and Migros Jet focusses on the express grocery market.
Additionally, it also trades in Kazakhstan and Macedonia under the Ramstore name.

Like its chief rival, Migros Ticaret has been enjoying impressive growth in its retail sales over the past year. In 2016, Migros netted in excess of $3 billion in sales – an improvement of 15% compared with 2015’s figures. 

Migros Ticaret has a total of 1,605 stores, 232 of which were opened in 2016. The vast majority of these are in Turkey. Only 39 outlets are ran outside of Turkey. 

Its market share is expected to grow in 2017 after acquiring a 95% stake in the Kipa hypermarket chain from UK-retailer in March 2017.

The chain directly imports its own goods, while also working with importers on more niche or luxury items.

Yildiz Holdings

Yildiz Holdings differs from the above two market leaders in that, as its name hints at, it is a holding company. It owns a diverse business portfolio, but, in this case, we are most interested in its grocery brands: Bizim Toptan & Şok.

Bizim Toptan is the name under which Yildiz Holdings runs its large-scale hypermarkets, of which there are 162 in Turkey. Şok refers to its chain of discount shops. The company runs 3,766 Şok outlets.

Yildiz Holding’s grocery activities scored the company sales worth of $1.8 billion in 2016. Bizim Toptan stores accounted for $771 million of this total, demonstrating how, even with a smaller number of outlets located around the country, the hypermarket format is gaining momentum throughout Turkey.

Overall, Yildiz Holdings does not directly import products to sell. Rather, it connects with importers and wholesalers to secure supplies.


While A101 may not compete with the big two of Turkish food retailing on monetary terms, it can at least compete on physical market presence. It is Turkey’s largest owner of grocery real estate, operating 6273 outlets nationwide.

Its huge number of stores, coupled with a dedication to discount prices, means A101 lags behind the three retailers listed in this article. The company attracts sales worth $1.1 billion annually, and this has remained the case since at least 2014.

A101 relies on a network of importers and wholesalers to stock its shelves.


CarrefourSA is unique on this list, being a joint Turko-French operation. Around 48% of the company is owned by the Carrefour Group, the French retail giants, while Turkish conglomerate the Sabinci Group holds the majority stake.

The company manages a variety of store formats in Turkey, including hypermarkets, express and local shops and outlets devoted to more expensive, gourmet items. There are 691 stores running under the Carrefour name across Turkey. This makes CarrefourSA the biggest part-foreign owned food retail company in the country after Tesco’s sale of Kipa to Migros earlier in 2017.

Meet Turkish food retail representatives at WorldFood Istanbul

The growing prominence of supermarkets, hypermarkets, and a more organised food and drink retail sector means more export opportunities for foreign food and drink producers in Turkey. And there is only one place to meet face-to-face with Turkey’s grocery sector: WorldFood Istanbul.

This international event attracts thousands of Turkish food professionals every year, including representatives from the above major retail chains, looking to source new products. Exhibiting at WorldFood Istanbul puts your food and drink items in front of this huge dedicated audience, offering your business the chance to expand into Turkey.

Interested in learning more about the show? Contact us today and begin your first steps towards Turkish export success.


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