Incredible: They reached Athens and no one noticed them – The Turks “invaded” Greece

Incredible: They reached Athens and no one noticed them – The Turks “invaded” Greece

Turkish stores Greece: From small boutiques to larger clothing and footwear companies. Also arriving in Greece is the leader of Turkish fashion and luxury products Vakko, the “Turkish Zara” LC Waikiki, as well as brands of underwear and children. All developments on

Greece-Turkey relations may have been in the red in recent months, but that does not seem to discourage Turkish companies from doing business in our country.

Especially in the field of clothing, we can say that there is a kind of landing in progress of the Turkish chains which consider that they can find favorable ground in an economy where the “quality/price ratio”, which ‘themselves promote, is the prevailing trend and of course they can sell their products cheaper to manufacture in Turkey, which has been plagued by inflation in recent years, in a hard currency market.

Just last week, another major Turkish clothing chain proceeded to establish a subsidiary in our country with the aim of developing a network of stores on Greek soil.

It is the leading Turkish fashion, clothing, luxury and distribution group Vakko of the Hako family.

At the same time, the so-called “Turkish Zara”, LC Waikiki, is expanding its network in our country, while the Penti underwear chain also has a notable presence in Greece, as well as the B&G Store, specializing in kids clothing. .

It should be noted that the first efforts of all these chains almost always leave from the north of Greece, either from cities with a strong presence of the Muslim minority, or from Thessaloniki.

Turkish stores Greece: The leader of Turkey arrives

Regarding the new entry into the Greek market, last week the sole proprietorship Vakko Investment was created with the distinctive title Vakko MAE.

The company has an initial share capital of 500,000 Euros, which was fully contributed by the founding Turkish joint stock company named Vakko Holding Anonim Sirketi.

The purpose of the company, according to the GEMI registration, is the management, operation, etc. real estate (including tourist accommodation), import, export and trading of clothing, footwear, accessories, cosmetics, personal care items, watches, jewellery, textiles, household equipment and furniture, as well as the representation of foreign and national houses.

Vakko is among neighboring Turkey’s leading fashion and luxury goods houses and has also managed to have an international presence. The brainchild of iconic Turkish entrepreneur Vitaly Hako, it started in 1934 as a small hat shop under the name Şen Şapka (Happy Hats).

She then adopted the Vakko name for her brand and began producing Turkish silk scarves. It gradually managed to expand beyond hats, scarves and fabrics and into the realm of ready-to-wear, where it has since been the leader in the Turkish market.

Today, Vakko specializes in haute couture luxury goods, through a series of numerous collections and stores. It also operates luxury department stores in shopping malls in Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir.

Vakko’s chairman of the board is the 66-year-old son of the company’s founder, Cem Hako, one of the pioneers of organizing Formula 1 races in Istanbul. His wife Ronit Gulchan was declared consultant-manager of the newly created company in Greece.

Turkish stores Greece: “Turkish Zara” expands

Another large chain from our neighboring country, LC Waikiki, specializing in so-called fast fashion, is already developing dynamically in our country, which has earned it the designation “Turkish Zara”.

In fact, these days there are plans to open one more store, the eighth in Greece, in the shopping center of the Fourlis group in Athens on Piraeus and Kifissos, while two more are expected to open by the end of the year, one of which is in Komotini.

It should be noted that Thrace is the first region of the country where the Turkish chain will be present in all the prefectures, since it started in Xanthi and opened the store in Alexandroupoli last March.

The other cities that already host its collections are Thessaloniki, Larissa, Corinth and Patra.

The medium-term goal is to commission ten more stores by early 2024, while in the long term it is estimated that the Greek market can be covered with 40-50 stores.

In its intentions, also, the arrival of other brands developed by the group in the same logic as the competitors of Inditex (Zara) and H&M.

These stores will be placed either independently or as a store within a store within the larger LC Waikiki. The priority brands are LCW Dream (the first European store opened in July 2020 in Xanthi) specializing in lingerie, LCW Home, with household items, and LCW Baby.

LC Waikiki, which was established in 1988 as a wholesale brand in Paris, came into exclusive Turkish hands in 1997 and began its commercial presence from the neighboring country in 2000.

As the main shareholder with a percentage of 47.34%, the Kiucyuk family, which controls the Taha group, appears today.

In 2021, LC Waikiki, now present in 55 countries, managed to exceed $1 billion in exports for the first time.

“Turkey has become the third largest country for textile exports in a very short time. I am happy to say that LC Waikiki made $1 billion out of the total $12.85 billion in textile exports Turkish exports in 2021, according to figures announced by the Turkish Exporters Association,” the president said in a statement from the board. from the Vahap Kuchuk company last week.

“Our contribution to our country’s economy through exports is one of our important responsibilities.

We are now the sixth largest clothing chain in Europe and market leader in 22 of the 55 countries where we operate.

We continue to work hard and all our efforts are focused on achieving our goal of becoming one of the top three clothing retail brands in Europe.”

Turkish stores Greece: Underwear

Another Turkish chain with an aggressive expansion plan in the Greek market is Penti, which is considered a leader in women’s underwear and beachwear in the neighboring country with 400 stores.

Penti Giyim Ticaret, as its full name is, debuted in the Greek market from Alexandroupolis shortly before the outbreak of the pandemic, has been growing since last fall already in Thessaloniki and is now on the verge of to go down, among other places, to Athens.

He is already said to be considering spots in the bustling shopping streets of the capital.

The objective is to develop ten stores in our country this year and next year, with a total investment of 2.5 million euros.

The history of the company started by the Carrillo family with the object of women’s socks and tights dates back to 1950.

In 2010, Penti reached 100 stores in the Turkish market, but its major growth started in 2011, when the American Carlyle Group entered as a shareholder, obtaining 30%. The company is currently present in 29 countries.

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