Presenting Timeless Elegance
Founded in Izmir in 1997, Jimmy Key produces high-quality collections by creatively adapting current trends to the brand identity and offering innovative pieces to its customers. Here, RLI spends some time with company CEO Elvan Ünlütürk to discuss the business’s evolving expansion plans that aims to see them reach the landmark milestone of 100 stores by the end of the year.
The history of Jimmy Key can be traced back to 1987 and the establishment of Sun Tekstil. This company, established by the Ünlütürk family, began life with just a few sewing machines but over time has transformed itself into a business that produces on average three million pieces of clothing a month.
The idea behind the Jimmy Key company was that it was their own brand and one that could expand abroad. With this in mind, their collections present a style that combines daily wear with more comfortable and sporty styles. While they currently focus on women’s clothing, they have also offered men’s collections in the past and in 2024 will re-enter this segment with a capsule collection.
Their current aim today is to bring their comfortable, fashionable and feel-good products that reflect their Mediterranean spirit to their customers in all corners of the world.
“We closed 2023 with a total of 73 stores around the world. We operate 68 of these in Turkey, two in Iraq, two in Romania and one franchise store in Azerbaijan which only opened its doors last year,” highlights Jimmy Key CEO, Elvan Ünlütürk. “We aim to end this year by reaching the significant milestone of 100 stores by reaching at least 75 locations in Turkey and four in Romania amongst others.”
Through their international franchise operations, they plan to expand to 15 units globally compared to just the one currently and their growth in Azerbaijan will also increase. Meanwhile, operations have commenced in Cyprus and Saudi Arabia.
Throughout 2023 the business launched 17 new stores, with the latest six seeing the introduction of a new architectural concept which sees a departure from their traditional Mediterranean style, which featured warm wooden textures and wrought iron decors.
The new concept embraces a modern look with the incorporation of Terrazzo marble surfaces, powder colour tones and natural wooden textures. “We have enhanced the décor with simple, elegant props and green plants to create a unique ambiance. With our new concept, we have successfully achieved a more modern aesthetic,” Ünlütürk explains.
Looking to the future, Elvan comments that their current focus lies on expanding their international presence and they are actively developing their corporate and franchise store operations. Concurrently, they are robustly planning their global digital market presence, expanding their reach by establishing a footprint on various online marketplaces across different countries. Their ambitious online target is to be present in approximately 30 countries by the end of 2024.
“Each year we strategically enter new country markets, formulating comprehensive growth strategies within the regions where we operate. Concurrently, we are robustly planning our global digital market presence, expanding our reach by establishing a footprint on various online marketplaces across different countries.”
In order to maintain this growth over a sustained period of time, Jimmy Key continues to innovate with its product collections. In addition to their seasonal collection, they develop capsule collections as well.
In the Comfymood collection, they design premium loungewear products that are available throughout all four seasons. This collection is primarily produced from sustainable, high-quality fibres. For the upcoming season, they are launching new designs in beachwear, including a swimwear category. Moreover, they offer evening dresses for occasions such as proms and New Year’s Eve.
Discussing the role of social media in the retail world today, Ünlütürk comments that social media stands as one of the most crucial communication tools in this digital age. She continues by saying that through visually engaging content and interactive posts, they can effectively showcase the unique lifestyle associated with their brand.
Maintaining separate accounts for each country allows the company to communicate locally with their target audience and customers in all markets in which they are present. This approach enables them to instantly report consumer expectations, demands, tastes and dynamics of the industry, adding efficiency and strength to their communication strategy.
Sustainable fashion is at the forefront of Jimmy Key’s objectives and the group actively support social and environmental developments for a better future. In alignment with this vision, they have established the Key For Life program, which serves as a platform that consolidates all their sustainability efforts and processes.
The Key For Life category includes timeless and long-lasting styles produced using less water and less energy. “We support sustainable production, from sourcing materials in sustainable forests to utilising fibres in collaboration in TENCEL™, ensuring environmental responsibility throughout our supply chain. The linen fabrics we use are produced naturally and sustainably, with seeds that have not been artificially irrigated and have not been genetically modified. Our products prioritise both environmental responsibility and high quality, ensuring they do not harm nature,” Ünlütürk explains.
As a brand and a member of the Sun Group of Companies, Jimmy Key leverages the power of its production and export capabilities. However, what is equally important is the establishment of experienced teams. They ensure sustainable growth by strategically investing in human resources, fostering the development of skilled teams and optimising their organisational structure.
Elvan feels that the most significant difference from their competitors is their design prowess, the importance they place on quality and their ability to send 100 new designs to their stores every month.
As our time with the CEO runs short, we ask her what is the overall ethos of Jimmy Key?
“Our ethical working principles take precedence and we actively support our colleagues on various issues, including wage policy, female employment, support for working parents and educational opportunities for young people,” she comments.
“Additionally, we prioritise sensitivity to the environment and nature. Being aware of the damage caused by the fashion industry to the globe, we incorporate this conscientious responsibility into all of our processes and we are excited by what lies ahead,” Ünlütürk concludes.