Getir, the Rapidly Growing Unicorn of Turkey, Withdraws from the UK and Other Countries

 Getir, the Rapidly Growing Unicorn of Turkey, Withdraws from the UK and Other Countries

Turkey’s tech giant Getir has decided to withdraw from the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, and the US markets. With the statements from founder Nazım Salur and supportive messages from Murat Ülker, we wanted to take a different perspective on the position of Turkish brands in the global market.

 

Getir, which rapidly grew as a unicorn in Turkey with significant investments, has put intense efforts into expanding globally in recent years. In the UK, it was promoted with a major advertising campaign; buses, metro stations, and billboards were covered with the Getir logo. It also made a strong entry into the UK market with Tottenham Hotspur sponsorship.

However, founder Nazım Salur announced on April 29th via X platform that the company was withdrawing from the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, and the US. In his announcement, he said, “Today is a sad day for @Getir. Unfortunately, we are withdrawing from the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, and the US. Many thanks to those who contributed.”

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Support Message from Murat Ülker

Murat Ülker, Board Member of Yıldız Holding, sent a supportive message to Nazım Salur via LinkedIn, saying: “Nazim Salur, my brother, is sad today, and I am also sad. But then I thought to myself: Every cloud has a silver lining. Profit is where you turn back from the loss. It is natural for business to have ups and downs. Business is usually subject to conjuncture. What matters is being relatively different in comparison. This ‘very special business,’ now at this crossroads, will be able to seize better opportunities ahead with the experience it has gained.”

Reasons Behind Getir’s Withdrawal from the Global Market

  • Rapid Growth and Wrong Strategies: Getir entered the UK market with a massive campaign in 2021. Then, it expanded its presence to the Netherlands, Germany, and the US markets. However, the overly rapid growth strategy, combined with aggressive expansion moves without adapting to local markets, led to Getir being in an unstable position. In these highly competitive markets, Getir’s inability to conduct accurate competitor analysis and understand local consumer behavior sufficiently made its business model unsustainable.
  • Saturated Market Post-Pandemic: During the peak of the pandemic, the demand for online grocery shopping increased rapidly, but after the pandemic, the demand for online grocery shopping decreased. While supermarket chains developed their own fast delivery services, major players like Deliveroo and Uber Eats made the competition even more challenging.
  • Cost of Gorillas Acquisition: Getir’s acquisition of fast delivery company Gorillas for £1.2 billion in 2022 drained the company’s cash reserves and added complexity to its operational structures. This merger disrupted the company’s financial and operational balance.
  • Adaptation Problems to Local Culture: Getir’s struggle to adapt its business mo del to the UK and other markets and its inability to understand local consumer behavior sufficiently negatively affected its profitability. Particularly in Western Europe and the US, the high wage expectations of delivery couriers increased the company’s costs.

Looking Back and Evaluation

Getir’s global market move shows that uncontrolled growth and aggressive expansion strategies don’t yield long-term success. Companies must adapt to local cultures and business models while correctly planning profit margins. Strategic planning, the right team selection, and adapting to local dynamics are crucial for Turkish brands to succeed in the global market.

Final Words: 

We at Turkish British are sad but also a little disappointed. Because they didn’t support us and the Turkish communities in their best times. Still, there are various analyses and comments regarding Getir’s withdrawal from international markets. Ultimately, Getir’s aggressive growth strategy and challenges in the global market once again highlighted the position of Turkish brands on the international stage. However, as Murat Ülker said, “Every cloud has a silver lining.” With the experiences gained, Getir may continue its journey with a stronger strategy in the future.

 

Turkish Brands in the United Kingdom

1. Beko and Turkish Airlines:

Beko is the most well-known Turkish brand in the UK, followed by Turkish Airlines. Beko has maintained its recognition for years in the UK market, while Turkish Airlines has also become one of the most recognized brands with regular advertising campaigns. However, “Istanbul” is actually the most recognized Turkish brand.

2. Other Brands:

  • Kahve Dünyası: Operates with a single branch in London, but its brand value is little known outside of Turks. 
  • Pegasus and SunExpress: Airlines, increase their recognition with flight tickets and regular advertising. 
  • Mey Global Yeni Rakı: Present in the UK market but still in the unknown drinks category due to its inaccessibility. 
  • Ülker Group: Operates under the name Pladis Global with the McVitie’s brand. Ülker name is never used, while McVitie’s is widespread. 
  • Select Tekstil: The brand owned by Cafer Mahiroğlu is quite widespread. 
  • Prochoice: One of the few Turkish cat and dog food brands in the UK market. 
  • Furniture Brands: İstikbal, Kelebek, Lazzoni, Bellona, and Doğtaş are in the UK market with a few stores but are not very successful as brands. 
  • Banks: TurkishBank, İşbank, Ziraat Bankası are the Turkish banks operating in the UK, with TurkishBank being the most recognized. 
  • Food Companies: TFC Supermarkets, Gama Gıda, Aytaç Gıda, Bodrum, and Melis are among the brands, but their brand value is weak.

3. Turkish Brands on Amazon: 

Many Turkish brands sell on Amazon. Kurukahveci Mehmet Efendi, Penti, Arçelik, Karaca, and Kütahya Porselen are among the successful ones in e-commerce.

4. Acun Ilıcalı and Hull City: 

Hull City AFC, owned by Acun Ilıcalı, has become one of the most popular Turkish brands in the UK.