Frustrated Israeli Protesters Go Shopping

When Israelis get frustrated by high consumer prices, they go shopping, according to two reports released today.

The Israeli consumer protests and boycotts of high food prices last year have apparently hit small corner stores and mini-markets the hardest, according to a Nielsen year-end market survey, while private discount chains are the big winners.

In another report, shopping mall owners are calling out the cranes and gearing up to build more malls. Business is good.

Nielsen reported that sales at mini-marts and independent small grocers fell 7.3 percent in the first quarter of 2012 as compared to last year. Revenue in that period declined from NIS 1.7 billion to NIS 1.5 billion. Sales at mini-markets declined 3.3 percent from 2010 to 2011, the Nielsen report stated. These small operators now command 15.9 percent of the market. That’s down from 18.3 percent in 2010.

Nielsen tracks data from corner stores, mini-marts, private chains and giant supermarket stores.

Meanwhile, private chains like Victory, Kimat Hinam, Rami Levi and Hetzi Hinam saw a big jump in market share, seeing their sales rise 9.1 percent to NIS $3.4 billion this quarter as compared to 2011. Sales rose 3.2 percent between 2010 and 2011. These chains account for 34.4 percent of the market.

Super-Sol and Mega held 49.8 percent of the market. That’s down a tiny fraction from 2011.

Rami Levi sat in the cat bird’s seat, showing a 33 percent rise in sales with the average customer buying more but paying 3.4 percent less on average.

Meanwhile, a survey of Israeli shoppers indicated that they were still gung-ho to continue protests against cost-of-living increases in consumer goods.

The survey by the College of Academic Management Studies also showed that half the respondents said that the protests didn’t do any good. Another 45 percent said they believed that companies were again raising prices after a brief period of discounts.

Nearly 80 percent said they wanted to see protests continue, and 29 percent said they would join protests this year.

The protests last year made a tub of cottage cheese fall from NIS 7.49 to NIS 5.49, but the survey showed that many middle-class Israelis are still frustrated.

On the other hand, Israelis are packing malls and buying, according to 2011 shopping mall financial reports. Nearly all financial measures improved.

Investors are listening to Israeli protesters. They are staying away from cottage cheese, sponsoring the expansion of malls and clearing the ground for new malls.

Filed Under: BusinessFeaturedJewish business News

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Menachem Greenfield About the Author: Menachem was previously a feature article writer for the Milwaukee Journal. He currently runs a small publishing business in Michigan focusing on books and magazines for the tourist industry. He is looking forward to writing for Jewocity and connecting with its readers. More about Menachem

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