Juan Roig’s Firm has ‘Inspired’ the File Chain from the Business Model

The hain of Juan Roig has gotten a ‘white label’ File. Tthis Turkish line of supermarkets, in full expansion phase, has with Mercadona end. Its logos, the characteristic green of its corporate color and even its commercial strategy resemble, like two drops of water, those of the company born in Puebla de Farnals.

File was born in 2015 as a second chain owned by BIM, the leading discount supermarket company in terms of revenue in Turkey and second by number of establishments. With more than 7,400 stores spread throughout all the neighborhoods of Turkey, the Istanbul company, which is listed on the stock exchange, has established itself in recent years in Morocco and Egypt. According to its corporate website, File has 93 establishments open and is in an expansion phase.

The arguments of the buyers differ little from the aims of the File brand. “The main objective of this model is to satisfy the food, personal care and general cleaning needs of consumers with healthy and fresh products that are produced with good or better quality, with high standards and offered for sale at low prices,” it reads your website. Good, nice and cheap, with a modern, attractive and innovative packaging. Or not so much.

The logo of Harras, its white brand of food products, is identical to that of the local Hacendado; The only thing that differentiates the Bosque Verde logo from that of Actisoft, the brand of cleaning products, is that they have only left a couple of leaves from the original tree. From Daycare to Deliplus there is not a D difference. At least the rectangular shopping basket, from the original Mercadona emblem, has become oval. The circle that surrounds it is identical.

Galip Aykaç, BIM’s chief operating officer, gave an interview to Fortune Turkey magazine in 2015 in which he acknowledged, at least partially, his inspiration in the Valencian chain when launching File. “We wanted to find a different format based on examples seen in our trips abroad,” he explains. “While we were examining America, I said to look in Europe and we went to Spain. There we saw the market leader, Mercadona.”

“Mercadona is a specialized structure in different fields, a leader in the Spanish market. Its main characteristic is its discount system and a high number of products. We wanted to specialize in certain topics.” The result, in external opinion, gives rise to reopen the old debate of where the inspiration ends to start plagiarism. There is no doubt about the success, in both countries, of a premium line under the slogan ‘always low prices’.

Turkish knockoffs, though not supermarkets, date back decades. In the 70s and 80s, a cinematographic genre became popular with more than twenty films that, with a low budget and total disdain for copyrights – what to say about the interpretations -, ‘interpreted’ the Hollywood blockbusters. Her legacy includes titles such as Karateci Kiz (Karateka girl), Ramo – add the missing B – or Dunyayi Kurtaran Adam – for the reader, Star Wars alla turca.

This trend has continued to this day and its latest victim has been Pablo Alboran. In mid-September, the singer-songwriter himself pointed out the Turkish interpreter Erkan Erzurumlu for the similarity of his recent song to that of the Spanish one, from 2017, No va a ser. It is enough to compare the covers of his single and that of the Turk, see the video clips of both and, above all, listen to both songs to think that, perhaps yes, Erzurumlu has been ‘inspired’ beyond his possibilities.

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