5 Famous Supermarkets in Istanbul

In Turkey, historically, food was bought and sold at small local bazaars and shops called “bakkals”. However, nowadays hypermarket model is starting to establish itself. There are still around 90,000 such operations nationwide.

These tiny outlets that are called “bakkals” 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 brick-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, the Turks will buy their food from supermarkets, or chain-owned stores, as urbanization 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.

Before we begin detailing the major supermarket players it is worth noting that the Turkish supermarket sector is more fragmented than other developed nations. The custom of purchasing and consuming fresh food on the day is still extremely culturally relevant. This means open-air bazaars and smaller local outlets called bakkals account for a sizable slice of the food retail market.

While it is true Turkey is moving towards a more westernized approach to grocery retailing, bakkals remain firm favorites for Turkish shoppers. It is in the larger, chain stores, that foreign products are sold so keep this in mind if you’re planning an expansion into Turkey.

So, which one should you shop from, which market sells the product you want? Which market is working with the discount model, which market serves to high-end customers? Below you can find information on some biggest chain supermarkets in Turkey.


Web Site of BIM Supermarkets bim.com.tr
Owner of BIM Supermarkets  More than 70% of the shares are
open to the Turkish stock market (BIST).
The remaining shares are owned
by various food and
investment companies. bim.com.tr/shareholders
Working Model of BIM Supermarkets  Working with the hard-discount
model. To decrease the costs, it serves
with small supermarkets and small
number of staff
(usually most of 5 employees per store).
About 700 different types of
products are sold. To reduce the cost,
some products are sold on pallets
without being removed from the boxes.
They sell private label products which
have similar quality as the leading branded products.
History and Today of BIM Supermarkets Started in 1995 with 21 supermarkets.
In 2018, it reached over 6000
supermarkets in total.
Besides, nearly 400 BIM markets are opened in Morocco.
Also in Egypt, there are about 300 BIM markets.
Their 2017 total revenue is about 5B$.
BIM Online Shopping BIM offers no online store,
all sales are made by supermarkets all over Turkey.
Alcoholic Beverages in BIM Supermarkets Alcoholic beverages are not sold at BIM Supermarkets.
What is sold at BIM Supermarkets? A variety of food and cleaning supplies are sold.
Plus some special products are sold weekly.
Most of the products sold are private label products.
Notes about BIM Supermarkets There are about 700 products
that are sold continuously. Also, there
are time-limited offers on some special
(10-20) products. These products
change every week. It may be a snow
chain for your car for a week, then a
4k TV curved next week.
These products, which are sold
with big discounts,
prices can be found at the
following link. bim.com.tr/aktuel-urunler

BİM Birleşik Mağazalar A.Ş. first opened the doors in 1995 with 21 stores. Its main principle is to offer consumers basic food items and consumer goods at the best prices and highest quality.

BİM, known as hard-discount role model in Turkey, limits its product portfolio to approximately 700 items and aims at having diverse private label products.

During 2018, BİM continued to pursue the policy of opening new stores and continuously increase its turnover. By the end of 2018, BİM reached 6.672 (with FİLE 6.736) stores in Turkey with the opening of three new regional offices and 598 (+20 FİLE) new stores during the year.

BİM aims to carry on its growth thanks to its efficient cost management policy while never compromising its quality and customer satisfaction understanding.

BİM, acting on the vision to be an international company, continues to explore new potential market opportunities in other countries. BİM maintains its Moroccan operations by opening 60 new stores in 2018 and reached 442 stores in total.

In 2018, BİM opened 35 new stores and reached 300 stores in a short time in Egypt.

BİM sustains trust-based relationships with its customers and suppliers as well as its stakeholders. It utilizes a flawless service philosophy embraced by all of its employees.

Consumers are always looking for the cheapest prices. However, smart customers do not settle for just the cheapest they also want quality products. Every week, our smart customers will find 10 to 15 products available at highly reasonable prices.

Known as spot products, these items are not continuously in stock but are offered to our customers weekly. Limited in number, these products are consumed right away thanks to their high quality and low prices.

At certain times of the year, BİM offers deals for any product that you might think of and need.

In addition to food products always in stock at our stores, BİM aims to add value to your daily life with these currently available products. With our product line changing every week, we might surprise you with items such as small appliances or bedspreads now and then.

We assure the quality of currently available products as well as private label products produced solely for BİM.

Grocery Selections

BİM’s primary goal is to provide you with the healthiest and most appropriate selections from our extensive product line. Halal slaughtering under hygienic conditions is carried out for all meat products.

They aim to bring ease and comfort as well as innovation to your kitchen by offering not only meat and poultry products but also ready-to-cook items specifically prepared for BİM’s valuable customers.

Our private label provides you with the best tasting sausage, salami, and similar meat products while at the same time being suitable to your family budget.

Meat Products

BİM’s primary goal is to provide you the most healthy and appropriate products.

Breakfast and Dairy Products

BİM can provide its customers with the freshest and healthy dairy products.


BİM offers its customers the perfect taste of drink at a perfect price.

Legumes and Bakery

Bakery products offered by BİM, are produced under the most hygienic conditions.

Snacks and Sweets

They offer a rich variety of private label snacks, sweets, and cookies for you and your children.

Fruits and Vegetables

They offer their customers delicious, fresh and seasonable fruits and vegetables.

Frozen Foods

Their ready-to-cook foods such as pizza and french fries will certainly please your family.

Non-food Items – Cleaning Supplies

Their products are regularly tested by TUBITAK and private laboratories.

At the end of 2016, BİM has 6,167 stores. 5,623 of these were in Turkey itself with the remaining 544 located throughout the Middle East and North Africa. Also, BİM try to reach more people by crossing overseas.

By the end of this year, it is aiming to open 25 stores in Turkey, 60 stores in Morocco and 50 stores in Egypt.

So far, 48 BİM stores have been converted to this new platform in Turkey. BİM works with Turkish food importers to procure goods.


Web Site of MIGROS Supermarkets https://www.migros kurumsal.com/en/
Owner of MIGROS Supermarkets The main share of MIGROS
markets belongs to the YAZICILAR HOLDING.
The remaining shares are owned by
various food and investment companies.
Shares are also open to the Turkish stock market (BIST).
Working Model of MIGROS Supermarkets Migros is a supermarket serving high-end customers
in Turkey. It carries out its operations
to be in high quality rather than be cheap.
When compared to Turkey’s most popular
discount supermarkets (A101, BIM, SOK),
MIGROS is generally more expensive.
On the other hand, there are better
quality products at MIGROS.
For example, organic products are not
sold in hard-discount markets, while many
organic products are sold in MIGROS.
Unlike discount markets, MIGROS usually
serves in supermarkets with a large number of employees.
History and Today of MIGROS Supermarkets In 1954, Istanbul Municipality decided to
establish an organization similar to
Switzerland Migros in Turkey. Migros
started selling with mobile sales trucks.
Migros introduced the first hygienic packaging,
first label, and shelf life applications to
Turkish consumers for the first time.
In 1975, Koc Holding one of Turkey’s
most important group took over the
majority shares of Migros. In 2018,
MIGROS serves with approximately 2000 supermarkets.
MIGROS Online Shopping Migros is the owner of the first online
supermarket in Turkey. https://sanalmarket.com
Every product sold in the market is also sold
in the online store. By selecting the delivery
time, you can ensure that Migros employees
leave the products you buy online for your home.
You can also check the prices of the
products in the Migros online store.
For legal reasons, there is no sale
of alcoholic beverages at the Migros
internet store. In general, the sale
of alcoholic beverages on the internet
is prohibited by law in Turkey.
Alcoholic Beverages in MIGROS Supermarket Many types of alcoholic drinks can be found in MIGROS Supermarkets.
What is sold at MIGROS Supermarkets? MIGROS serves its customers in various
categories such as cosmetics, glassware,
electronics, books, and textiles as well as
food and cleaning products.
Notes about MIGROS Supermarkets Migros uses M letters to categorize
its supermarkets. The smallest of the
supermarkets (M-JET) is at a discount
market size while the largest (5M) is at the size of a shopping mall.

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 run outside of Turkey.

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

While BİM’s operations are concentrated firmly on discount sales, Migros Ticaret has taken a more varied approach to grocery retailing. The group, owned by Turkey’s Anadolu Endustri Holding, splits its food operations across three brands.

Migros covers super and hypermarket sales, while discount stores operate under the Tansas umbrella with Macro Center being responsible for more up-scale “gourmet” options.

The company is also notable for originating as a joint venture between Swiss-based Migros Co-operatives and the Istanbul Municipality – demonstrating just how successful foreign firms can be in Turkish food retailing.

Migros Ticaret A.Ş. is one of the biggest chains of supermarkets in Turkey.

Together via Migros supermarkets, Şok discount stores, international Ramstore shopping centers, online shopping, wholesale stores, and mobile sales units, Migros Turkey serves an estimated 160 million customers.

As of Nov 2014, the company operates a total of 1,156 stores: 852 Migros stores, 212 Tansaş stores, 24 5M stores and 27 Macro Centers stores in Turkey, 41 Ramstores in Kazakhstan and Macedonia, according to its web site.

News reports in February 2008 indicated that BC Partners has agreed to buy Migros Turk in Turkey’s biggest-ever leveraged buyout.

The London-based firm will trade Koc Holding 1.98 billion TL for a 51 percent stake in Migros Turk. Later BC increased its stake to 98 percent. In 2011, the group sold approximately 20% back to public market investors.

BC Partners revealed in January 2015 that it would sell its 40.25 percent stake in its supermarket chain Migros to the Turkish conglomerate Anadolu Endustri Holding AS for around $2.74 billion.

The logo of Migros Turkey is similar to an older version of the Swiss Migros logo but uses dotted I, as the dotless I represent a different letter in the Turkish alphabet with phonetic value, a close back unrounded vowel.

As in Switzerland, the supermarkets are categorized into three size classes of M, MM, and MMM but with another size 5M:

•    M Migros supermarkets are selling basic groceries and a limited number of non-food products

•    MM Migros stores offer a wider range of non-food articles besides the basic groceries

•    MMM Migros stores have a larger product spectrum ranging from stationery to textile products, electric household appliances to bakeries, books, and cosmetics

•    Additionally, there is a fourth class, the 5M Migros have the widest product selection and are found mostly in the Anatolian Tigers or tourist areas of the southwest coast, as well as in Ankara.

•    Additionally, there is a fifth class, the Migros jet, mini-markets in boroughs, formed by the acquisition of Tansaş resembling its Mini Tansaş line.


Web Site of Carrefour Supermarkets http://www.carrefour.com
Owner of Carrefour Supermarkets Majid Al Futtaim
Working Model of Carrefour Supermarkets The retail spirit and fair trade are
two commitments shared by all
Carrefour employees throughout the world.
So the Group has an HR policy that combines
training, development, accountability,
and diversity to make sure these values are upheld.
History and Today of Carrefour Supermarkets The first Carrefour shop (not a hypermarket)
opened in 1960, within suburban Annecy
near a crossroads. In January 2018,
Alexandre Bompard announced a strategic
plan for the company, entitled “Carrefour 2022”,
that ambitions to make Carrefour the
“leader of the food transition for all”.
Carrefour Online Shopping Every product sold in the market is
also sold in the online store. By selecting
the delivery time, you can ensure that Carrefour
employees leave the products you
buy online for your home. You can also
check the prices of the products in
the Carrefour online store. For legal
reasons, there is no sale of alcoholic
beverages at the Carrefour internet
store. In general, the sale of alcoholic
beverages on the internet is prohibited
by law in Turkey. https://www.carrefoursa.com/tr/
Alcoholic Beverages in Carrefour Supermarkets Alcoholic beverages are sold at
Carrefour Supermarkets.
What is sold at Carrefour Supermarkets? A variety of food and cleaning supplies are sold.
Notes about Carrefour Supermarkets Besides private label and branded
products, they enlivened some
old Turkish brands such as Mis, Piyale,Mintax, Evin, and Amigo.

CarrefourSA is unique on this list, being a joint Turko-French operation. The company manages a variety of store formats in Turkey, including hypermarkets, express and local shops and outlets devoted to more expensive, gourmet items. 691 stores are 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.

Originally wholly owned by French hypermarket leaders Carrefour, CarrefourSA is a joint venture between the French company and the Turkish firm Sabanci Holding. Sabanci Holding owns a controlling stake of some 50.93% after a deal in 2013.

CarrefourSA is somewhat of a success story in Western food retail practices taking hold in the Turkish market.

The company has over 400 stores, a mixture of hyper and supermarkets, it operates across Turkey. After stepping up investment across all operations, Carrefour SA saw its sales increase 20% to TL 3.1 billion ($1 billion) in 2014.

While other Western chains have experienced complications and frustrations resulting in closed stores due to the fragmented nature of the Turkish market, CarrefourSA’s prosperity is an inspirational tale for foreign supermarket operators.

Closing our profile of the top grocery retailers in Turkey are Tesco-Kipa, a joint British-Turkish venture and German wholesalers the Metro Group. Each posted sales of over TL 2 billion in 2014.

However, due to the financial difficulties of its parent company, Tesco-Kipa is looking to downsize its presence in Turkey in 2016 and is likely to be replaced by another domestic competitor.

Again, it is important to stress the difference between Turkish food retail and a more western model. But times are changing. Under pressure from the big retail chains, the number of bakkals has shrunk over the last decade from 160,000 to 90,000.

If this trend continues, and retail chains gain a larger market share, then foreign products will likely gain a larger foothold in the Turkish market.


Web Site of A101 Supermarkets https://a101.com.tr (Only in Turkish)
Owner of A101 Supermarkets Turgut Aydın HOLDING is the
owner of A101 supermarkets.
A101 is not traded on the Turkish stock market.
Working Model of A101 Supermarkets Working with the hard-discount model.
To decrease the costs, it serves with
small supermarkets and small number
of staff(usually most of 5 employees per store).
History and Today of A101 Supermarkets In March 2013, it entered the discount
retail market with 121 supermarkets.
In 2018, they have nearly
7000 supermarkets in all cities of Turkey.
A101 Online Shopping They have a web store,
Some products sold in A101
supermarkets can also be
purchased from the
internet store (not all products are sold online)
Alcoholic Beverages in A101 Supermarkets Alcoholic beverages are not sold at A101 supermarkets.
What is sold at A101 Supermarkets? A variety of food and
cleaning supplies are sold. Plus some
special products are sold weekly.
Over 1000 different products
sold at A101; approximately half
of them are a private label
where the remaining half are
branded products.
Notes about A101 supermarket Besides A101 Supermarkets,
Turgut Aydın HOLDING has also
weighted shares of Memorial Hospitals,
one of Turkey’s largest hospital groups.
Also in the home textiles sector,
English Home, one of
Turkey’s largest chain stores,
belongs to this holding.

A101 is another Turkish owned discount supermarket chain. In terms of pure store numbers, A101 sits in second place with nearly 4,000 locations across Turkey.

A101 opened its first market on April 28, 2008, with a slogan “Buy more for less”

A101 has been offering quality food and consumer goods to its customers at low prices since 2008. The A101 operation is carried out by the Depot-Offices in Adana, Afyon, Ankara, Antalya, Aydın, Bursa, Diyarbakır, Erzurum, İstanbul Anatolian, İstanbul Europe, İzmir, Kayseri, Kıraç, Konya, Sakarya, Samsun, Trabzon, Trakya and Tuzla regions and by the Central Office located in Istanbul.

A101 markets achieved much sooner than expected to be the second-biggest discount market in Turkey and it has become the first and only market chain to exist in 81 cities.

As A101, we received the award of ‘the national company with the most trademark registrations in Turkey’ in 2009’ and we give importance to our private label brands which we call Private Label. Private Label products on the shelves of A101, make up 40 percent of total products.

We have approximately 18 thousand staff and we make a great contribution to the economy of our Turkey by employing at least four people with every store we open.

As the A101 market chain, we are very sensitive to the fact that all the resources we are currently using are renewable and friendly to the environment.


Web Site of SOK Supermarkets https://sokmarket.com
Owner of SOK Supermarkets More than 35% of the shares are open
to the Turkish stock market (BIST).
The remaining shares are owned
by various food and investment
Working Model of SOK Supermarkets Working with the hard-discount
To decrease the costs, it serves with
small supermarkets and small
number of staff (usually most of 5 employees per store).
History and Today of SOK Supermarkets Sok began its operations with
13 supermarkets. In 2018,
they reached over 6200 supermarkets
in 81 provinces in Turkey.
Their 2017 total revenue is about 1,5B$.
SOK Online Shopping They have a web store. All products
sold in Sok supermarkets can also be
purchased from the internet store.
There is a ‘store’
delivery option for online shopping.
Prices and all products sold at the
address below. https://ceptesok.com/.
They have also mobile applications
on Android and IOS.
Alcoholic Beverages in SOK Supermarkets Alcoholic beverages are not
sold at SOK Supermarkets.
What is sold at SOK Supermarkets? A variety of food and
cleaning supplies are sold.
Plus some special products are sold
weekly named as ‘Weekly Deals’.
https://sokmarket.com.tr/ our-weekly-deals
Notes about SOK Supermarkets Besides private label and
branded products, they enlivened
some old Turkish brands
such as Mis, Piyale, Mintax, Evin,
and Amigo.

They offer their customers a “one-stop-shop” experience for substantially all of their core shopping needs at the closest sale points to their homes, through more than 6,642 stores, 24 warehouses, and over 24,000 employees in all 81 provinces of Turkey.

They are expanding our store network continuously and rapidly to reach our customers more effectively.

Since the beginning of 2015, they have opened an average of 3 stores per day and we opened 699 stores in 2015, 1,000 stores in 2016 and 1,100 stores in 2017. Last 3 years, they have renewed 2,747 of our stores to create a pleasant atmosphere and to provide an easy shopping experience to our customers.

They enlivened brands such as Mis, Piyale, Mintax, Evin, and Amigo that represent heritage in the local customers’ memories and that were considered as national brands in the past, and brought these values back in the economy.

They offer these deep-rooted, nostalgic, and recognized special brands, which have a strong brand perception, to our customers at affordable prices.

In their rich product portfolio, they offer their customers more choices by keeping our exclusive brands together with national brands and meet the shopping needs of our customers to a great extent. They offer their customers high-quality products that are easily accessible at affordable prices.

They deliver the daily fruits and vegetables “from our warehouses to our stores” within 24 hours, ensuring that they reach our customers while they are still fresh.

They are one of the leading retailers in Turkey for personal cleaning and care products. They offer their customers a wide range of products in this area.

They aim to provide the best service to their customers with our differentiated business model, “everyday low price” strategy, and their different campaigns.

That’s why they say ‘Şok is more than enough’.

Their Quality Assurance department is responsible for ensuring that the standards required to comply with the National and International Codes are met.

As Şok, they comply with the globally-known standards such as “BRC” – Brand Reputation Compliance, AIB International, “IFS” – International Food Standards, and “FSSC 22000” – Food Safety System Certification. They require our suppliers of their exclusive products to have one of these certifications.

They monitor the practices of our suppliers and guide them to improve their performance. Since 2011, we have a special inspection program for our suppliers.

Third-party companies (by the “Food Safety” checklist and BRC, AIB, IFS, and FSSC 22000) are monitoring the production facilities of our Exclusive Brands, as well as national brands.

These third-party companies are checking their suppliers of Original Branded Products twice a year. We are looking for a condition for their suppliers to get good results from these inspections to stay as a supply partner.

Independent experts from certified laboratories monitor our Exclusive Brand products according to their chemical, physical, and microbiological properties at the production stage.

Before putting a new product on the market, these laboratories conduct quality and taste tests to ensure that the product is approved for production and distribution and to determine whether there is a need to make changes in the content or process of preparation.

Laboratories then conduct audits of approved products arriving at our distribution centers before being accepted and distributed to our stores.

If you plan to stay for a while in Turkey, one of the important issues you need to know about is supermarkets and grocery stores. While walking down the street in Turkey, you will see so many supermarkets and grocery stores on the way.

Savaş Ateş

I'm a software engineer. I love Istanbul. I have been to 10 different countries. Istanbul is in the top 3 cities. I like to play soccer too :)

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