Prices of a range of consumer goods in Turkey are said to have adjusted after major retailers announced a wave of discount initiatives and price freezes in a bid to help tame stubborn inflation.
The move followed meetings and calls by government officials, who urged companies to do more to curb rising consumer prices that have slumped over the past two months after hitting a 24-year high in October.
Supermarket chains, including Migros, Şok Marketler, A101 Yeni Mağazacılık and Happy Center, announced earlier this month that they would do so. Freeze the prices of thousands of daily commodities.
They abided by the officials’ calls and launched discounts on January 11, Özkan Kaya, the regional director of the Happy Center Istanbul North Anatolia Center, said, adding that they will provide full support to families. Happy Center said it will fix prices on many products and offer discounts of up to 20% on a range of food and non-edible goods.
“We have carefully selected the products that are most in need and that will be most efficient for people when it comes to product discounts. We will continue our work to reduce and stabilize prices until the end of January,” Kaya told Anadolu Agency.
We are waiting for citizens to take advantage of these discounts in our stores. I believe that the participation of other sectors in these reduction campaigns will contribute to fighting inflation.
The government has warned leading grocery chains in the wake of a fresh wave of price hikes after the country announced an increase in the minimum wage for 2023.
The Minister of Treasury and Finance, Noureddine Al-Nabati, called on retailers to take action, stressing that exploitative pricing should not be accepted, and demanded that markets not increase prices or fix them for a certain period.
Separately, Nabati and Minister of Commerce Mohamed Moush met with top executives of major retailers recently. Mosch warned that the government would never allow unfair price hikes aimed at disrupting the market system and its functioning.
Şok announced that it would freeze the prices of about 1,000 consumer staples — from rice, pasta, pulses, flour, tea, coffee, sugar, and oil to multiple vegetables — for the entire month of January.
Migros announced that it sets prices for 419 of its own items with discounts on more than 3,000 products. It also froze the prices of several essential items, including oil, flour, tea, sugar, pulses, detergents and diapers for this month.
The owner of one of Turkey’s largest chain of stores, A101, said it would freeze the prices of 2023 essential commodities throughout January.
Similarly, Carrefour said it announced discounts of between 20% and 40% on the prices of 20,000 food and non-edible products for the month.
Turkey’s consumer price index slowed to its sharpest pace in more than a quarter of a century in December 2022.
annual inflation It fell sharply to 64.27% in December from 84.39% reported in November 2022. This decline was mainly driven by the so-called positive base effect and represented a second consecutive decline after inflation hit a 24-year high of 85.5% in October.
The government announced a 55% increase in the official minimum wage for 2023. It raised the minimum wage three times in the past year, raised state salaries and raised pensions for millions to ease pressure on families caused mostly by high inflation.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also announced a measure allowing more than two million citizens to retire early. He said the minimum wage could be raised again throughout the year if necessary.
The government last year introduced several relief measures to help mitigate the fallout from inflation, including capping rent increases, cutting taxes on utility bills and unveiling a major housing project for low-income families.
Okan Çiğli, a Happy Center customer, confirmed his satisfaction with the move and called for expanding the discount campaign.
We expect rebates to become widespread and our government to focus on this in a very assertive way. Prices are appropriate depending on the area. “Hopefully, purchasing power will improve with these campaigns,” Cigley said.