Part of the Ayaydin-Miroglio Group which was established in 2008, Ipekyol was founded in 1986 and opened its first store in Rumeli Avenue Nisantasi in 1989. Here, RLI speaks with Yalçin Ayaydin, Chairman of the Board at the Ayaydin-Miroglio Group to talk about how far the brand has come and what the future holds.

Ipekyol joined the Turkish ready-made garment sector over thirty years ago, and today addresses the differing tastes and requirements of hundreds of thousands of woman across the world. Currently the company operates 236 stores across Turkey and 40 stores abroad and has a strong customer base, particularly in the Middle East and Gulf countries. In collaboration with its partners, Ipekyol operates in nine markets outside of Turkey; these are Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Cyprus, Iraq, Kazakhstan, KSA, Kuwait, Qatar and the UAE.

In May last year Ipekyol opened two stores abroad, one in City Centre Mirdif, Dubai and another one in Mega Center in Kazakhstan. More recently the company has opened a couple of domestic stores, in January a new location was launched at the Teras Park shopping mall in Denizli, and another was added in February at the Söke Novada shopping mall in Aydin. The company’s most recent opening was at the Istanbul Airport, which was a store of great significance to the company due to its unique location in the largest airport in the world.

“In the years ahead, we plan on maintaining our presence in our current regions, domestic and abroad. We will also increase the number of new stores, reach new customers with diverse tastes and continue to offer a distinguished shopping experience,” says Ayaydin.

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In addition, new markets are being explored; the brand will soon introduce its products to customers in Lebanon, Egypt and Russia and continue to invest in its e-commerce and s-commerce offerings. Ayaydin feels that brands that do not follow digital trends and invest in e-commerce and s-commerce in today’s retail market will gradually fall away. Ipekyol’s research, development and design teams follow closely these latest trends and focus on digital apps and the current in-store experience to make sure the company remains at the forefront of the market.

Embracing the huge importance of social media in the current retail world, Ipekyol’s marketing strategy is based on improving brand recognition and image. They utilise important social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to ensure pre-sale and post-sale customer satisfaction.

The brand has built a loyal following over the years because they are able to meet customer expectations by bringing new products to market consistently without ever compromising on quality; this is largely due to their production facilities in Edirne in Turkey.

So what does Ayaydin believe are the key drivers behind the brand’s success to date? “Self-knowledge and objective self-evaluation, if a company wants to succeed, it should be able to reflect upon itself objectively. This brand is strong because we can define ourselves through the eyes of our customers, we recognise our own potential and we can objectively identify our strengths, weaknesses, market position, opportunities and threats and take action accordingly.”

Owned by the Ayaydin-Miroglio Group, a Turkish-Italian partnership, the Ipekyol brand contains the common features of two cultures and two corporate identities. A dynamic and enthusiastic brand, it possesses an entrepreneurial spirit and is a prestigious, well respected company that is continually looking to improve itself.

Like many companies, not only within the retail sector but in industries the world over, Ipekyol has and is continuing to exist in a world of economic instability and political upheaval, this has been and remains the greatest challenge facing the company in 2019. Despite this, through its experience and deep understanding of its customers and the market in which it is in, the future remains bright for the leading ready-to-wear retailer. “For us, 2019 will be a positive year of new projects and company firsts. We plan to increase the number of our stores abroad by 25 per cent from 40 to 50 and the number of external countries we operate in from 9 to 11. In our home market, we plan on opening 10 new stores by the end of the year and we look forward to what 2020 will bring,” concludes Ayaydin.