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Distributed: Dec 20, 2010

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Sydney, Dec 20, 2010 (Global Fashion Wire) - Opening its second store in Istanbul's luxurious shopping mall Istinye Park, global fashion giant Prada is aiming to solidify its position in the Turkish market while also moving eastward. Speaking to the Hurriyet Daily News & Economic Review, Prada global COO Sebastian Suhl says Turkish sales have been an overwhelming success so far.

Milan-based fashion giant Prada has opened its second location in Istanbul as part of an aggressive strategy to expand eastward, according to the company's global chief operating officer.

The new location at the Istinye Park mall could soon be joined by another location on the city's Asian side as the company moves more fully into the market, COO Sebastian Suhl told the Hurriyet Daily News & Economic Review last week.

"Nothing is confirmed yet, but we are looking for a store on [Kadikoy's Bagdat Avenue]," Suhl said.

The COO said expanding to other cities would be a matter of concern once the brand has completed its Istanbul investments.

"We are not at all thinking of working with another retailer since we are already working with the top of the top," Suhl said.

The consumers on the Asian side, as well as in other big cities of Turkey like the Aegean province of Izmir and the capital Ankara can still have access to the brand's products at Beymen store, Prada's sole retailer in Turkey, he said.

"We owe much to Beymen both in terms of sales and in terms of creating brand awareness about us prior to our entrance into the market," he said.

Although Prada has only been in the Turkish market for one year, the company is very content with sales so far, he said.

"The year 2010 went really well for us generally. We opened this store only last Saturday but the sales have been amazing since - almost as if it were a store in Western Europe," he said.

Turkey as a production base

Suhl said the company produced leather grips in Turkey that were of great quality. "Most of our production is in Italy which is something Prada is proud of and famous for. But recently we started working in Turkey for some leather bags and the business has gone very well."

Touching also on the brand's latest "Made In" project, which is to hit markets soon, he said: "The project involves 'Made in India,' Made in Scotland' and 'Made in Peru' [labels] but it is not about producing cheaper products. It is about benefiting from the local artisans to produce special products particular to the region. We are not even present in Peru, for example."

He also said the project was a key indication for what Prada was known for, namely special, high-quality production.

Source: ISTANBUL - Hurriyet Daily News

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