Two Turkish women shopping at the Dior boutique in Zorlu shopping mall in Istanbul, Turkey. Getty Images
The sacking of Turkey’s central bank head, Naci Ağbal, by president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan over the weekend, once again puts the country’s economy under pressure. On Monday, the Turkish lira lost 15 percent of its value, before recovering slightly to finish trading 8 percent lower against the US dollar.
Turkey’s instability puts fashion and beauty retailers in a tough spot. Many international brands have long eyed the country’s large population of 83 million people as an opportunity and, with the youngest population in Europe, it’s a particularly appealing proposition for mass market fashion and beauty brands. But continuing economic and political instability (Ağbal was the third central bank head Erdoğan has sacked in two years) makes it more likely that brands will also continue to put any expansion plans on hold.
In Turkish retail sales figures released for the month of January (the most recent figures available) sales of textile, clothing, and footwear declined 21.4 percent, year-on-year.