In both cases these multi storey constructions are welcoming yet intimidating

In both cases these multi storey constructions are

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In both cases, these multi-storey constructions are welcoming yet intimidating to visitors, not only with expensive shops but also with luxurious interiors. The shining spotless marble oors contrast“ wi_t_h_t_l_1_e__ habitually dusty and muddy fi tmets of n Mbgf'd‘HE"-ii fi {e these malls have food“EOTufts'O‘ccupied-by‘Western food chains, such as McDonalds and Burger King, along with Turkish doner kebab or swéétshops, (where visitors can enjoy familiar food in a nofi5fa fi iiliar setting. An overview Bf th fi ncreas fi i—gam fi term fi on'al" re'tailersirr' fi irkey, starting from the late 19803, suggests that Turkey became a desirable target for multinationals as a result of the new development strategy and its positive effects on the growth rate and per-capita income. Between 1985 and 1993, GNP per capita increased in real terms at an average annual rate of 3 percent. Turkey’s demo- graphic characteristics also made it favourable, especially for international food retailers. According to the latest census, Turkey has a population of more than 62 million, with an annual population increase rate of 2.2 percent. The population is young, especially compared with the ageing population in Europe (more than 60 percent of the population being below thirty years of age) (Tokatli and Boyaci, 1997, p.104). There is a high rate of urbanisation and an increasing concentration of the population in the main cities, such as Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Adana and Bursa.l On the other hand, income distribution is skewed, giving some segments of the population great purchasing power. The richest 20 percent of the population takes more than half of the GNP, and is concentrated in the major cities.2 In 1990, 74.26 percent of Istanbul inhabitants, 70 percent of Ankara in.- habitants and 60 percent of Izmir'inhabitants had a stable income, whereas the proportion is 38.4 percent in Turkey as a whole. So there is a large group with considerable purchasing power who constitute the clientele of the new shopping sites (Sbnmez,1996, pp.126—7). Thirty of Turkey’s 52 hypermarkets are concen- trated in Istanbul, and it is estimated that they cover 25 percent of the retail trade in Turkey and 50 percent of retail trade in Istanbul. The market is still unsaturated, and many foreign and domestic companies are planning to enter it (Sbnmez, 1997). Visible material af uence exists alongside high population growth, rapid urbanisation, high in ation, unemployment, unequal income distribution and huge disparities between urban and rural life. Figures show that consumption has increased tremendously.3 In a cross-cultural study of materialism carried out by Ger and Belk (1990). it has been argued that individual-oriented materialism can go together with
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ENCOUNTERS AT THE COUNTER collectivist cultural orientation. Ger suggests that this explains especially the behaviour of Turkish female shoppers (p.189): ‘If materialism is linked to enhancing the materialwell being’of, and consumption for a unit1 that u_n'i't may Wndividual in some cultures, several individuals (close friends and family members) in other cultures’ (p.190). There is a noticeable shift in
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  • Spring '14
  • Shopping mall, Istanbul

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