- President, Boyner Holding (Retail)
Born Istanbul, Turkey, 1955. Bachelors in Business Administration, Boğaziçi University (1978).
“Retailing is probably the world’s second oldest profession. You have so many people that come into your store who you touch... our salespeople are psychologists... clairvoyants... They can read character. So we just gave the authority to them.”
Cem Boyner, CEO of Boyner Holdings and chairman of the board of Boyner department stores, relates his rise within the family textile and retail business, which was started by his father, Osman. The Boyner retail empire, started in 1981, grew to comprise a large number of stores, including Boyner department stores (numbering about 80) and YKM stores (numbering about 60). Boyner describes his schemes to be innovative in the expanding and competitive retail sector, including his efforts to create an international shopping experience and to partner with foreign companies, such as Levi’s. Boyner also describes service innovations, such as unconditional returns and financial ones, including the introduction of the Advantage Card, which revolutionized the way retail was being conducted in Turkey and even brought changes in the consumer law. Boyner also describes his forays into politics, including his leadership of the New Democracy Movement, and his role in heading the Turkish Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Associations.