During the Covid-19 pandemic, which impacted the entire world, we have remained committed to our mission of providing uninterrupted services and standing by our people – who, like healthcare workers, are essential. ŞOK Marketler has taken steps to strengthen this mission and will continue to do so. It is a priority for us to ensure that necessary actions are taken in times of crisis and that our operations run smoothly. From the first notifications of Covid-19 cases around the world, we started preparing for the outbreak. We closely monitored developments related to the pandemic and we continue to implement measures in parallel with the instructions of relevant Ministries and the World Health Organization. We swiftly implemented practices to protect the health of employees, while taking action to ensure hygiene in the stores. We acted proactively after the first confirmed case of Covid-19 in Turkey, taking all measures to ensure that necessary products were on the shelves. We have observed hygiene protocols in all our offices, working spaces, and production facilities since the outbreak of the disease, and we arranged our working model in line with pandemic-related developments. We coordinated our teams for emergency cases and worked on various scenarios and procedures.
At ŞOK Marketler, we offer quality and affordable products to all our customers in 81 provinces of Turkey and continue to make investments and provide jobs. Hand in hand with our employees and business partners, we work with dedication and commitment to make safe food accessible for customers. In line with consumers’ rapidly changing expectations and needs, we develop innovative and digital solutions for the shopping experience.
One example is Cepte ŞOK’s home delivery feature, which we swiftly deployed to offer a quick and safe shopping experience and meet the needs of those neighbors who lived alone, were not allowed to leave home, and thus were unable to shop for themselves. Thanks to Cepte ŞOK, customers can order online or via phone and receive orders the same day. Customers can also pay online or with a credit card/in cash at the door for their shopping.
Thanks to our customer-oriented innovative business model, our net sales in 2020 rose by 33% year-on-year, reaching TL 21.4 billion. Compared to the previous year, we increased earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) by 60%, totaling TL 1.3 billion (excluding the impact of IFRS 16). We continued investments in 2020 despite the pandemic. To meet almost all the needs of our customers with “one stop shopping from the nearest point,” we opened 930 new stores, reaching a total of 8,145 stores in 2020. We continued to expand our family. Throughout the year, we provided more than 6,000 jobs, with the number of total employees reaching 35,665.
In every step we take, we put customer satisfaction first. Our aim is that customers enjoy a comfortable and easy shopping experience and that we meet and exceed customers’ differing expectations in our stores across 81 provinces and on the online channel. We closely monitor consumer trends, while designing our stores considering certain factors such as proximity, pricing, product diversity, exclusive brands, and a convenient shopping experience. Owing to a broad product range and an affordable price policy that addresses a range of needs, we were the preferred destination of customers during the pandemic as well. Alongside our well-recognized and nostalgic brands such as Mis, Anadolu Mutfağı, Mintax, Piyale, Amigo, and Evin, we continue to expand our portfolio with new products that are leaders in their respective industries.
We operate in the food sector; therefore, carrying agriculture to the future is a primary duty for us. With this in mind, we continuously improve our Fair Agriculture initiative. As part of this project, we have direct procurement practices in place, which involve procurement guarantees for farmers and encouraging producers and production. We guarantee product quality and provide traceability for customers. We stand by farmers in all stages of agricultural production, from cultivation to harvest. Our end-to-end agricultural practices take place without the need for intermediaries. Directly communicating with farmers, we protect and support them.
ŞOK Marketler is a large family with strong bonds. We work together towards shared achievements, and put our minds and hearts in everything we do. Our achievements are possible thanks to your trust in and support for our brand. As always, we will continue to create value for Turkey’s economy, our esteemed stakeholders, and our customers.
ŞOK Marketler Tic. A.Ş.