Marka­foni in Turkey to close

The Star Early Edition - - COMPANIES -

SOUTH African me­dia and in­ter­net gi­ant Naspers will close its Turk­ish e-com­merce and fash­ion com­pany Marka­foni at the end of June, it said yes­ter­day, cit­ing a chal­leng­ing eco­nomic en­vi­ron­ment. Global in­vestor en­thu­si­asm for Turkey, which has a grow­ing and young pop­u­la­tion with a me­dian age of just over 30, has cooled amid ris­ing se­cu­rity and po­lit­i­cal con­cerns de­spite its en­vi­able de­mo­graph­ics and growth po­ten­tial. “De­spite ini­tial suc­cess, the busi­ness (Marka­foni) is not scal­ing suf­fi­ciently to be sus­tain­able, and in a chal­leng­ing eco­nomic en­vi­ron­ment for this type of busi­ness the de­ci­sion was taken to close,” Naspers said. Turkey’s grow­ing e-com­merce mar­ket was worth 24.7 bil­lion lira (R91.44bn) in 2015, ac­count­ing for only 2 per­cent of to­tal re­tail rev­enue, ac­cord­ing to the Turk­ish In­for­mat­ics In­dus­try As­so­ci­a­tion. Marka­foni said that op­er­a­tions would cease on June 30. “We thank you for the sup­port you have shown us since in 2008,” a state­ment on its web­site said. It did not give a rea­son for the clo­sure, but me­dia re­ports said the busi­ness has failed to turn a profit. Marka­foni rep­re­sen­ta­tives were not im­me­di­ately avail­able for com­ment. Par­ent Naspers said the clo­sure was a stand­alone de­ci­sion and would have no im­pact on other Naspers com­pa­nies and in­vest­ments in Turkey, in­clud­ing OLX, Letgo, PayU and De­liv­ery Hero. “We be­lieve that Turkey re­mains a good growth op­por­tu­nity for other busi­nesses, which all con­tinue to gain trac­tion and scale,” Naspers said. – Reuters

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