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Grocery shopping habits of Israeli consumers are shifting, according to a Manufacturers Association of Israel survey, which found fewer people shopping in convenience stores and open markets and more making their purchases at supermarket chains.
The average Israeli household buys food in three different places, with roughly 16 percent shopping in only one location, according to the survey of 600 respondents around the country.
Open public markets in Israeli cities accounted 8.2% of food purchases, down from 8.9%, while convenience stores and mini-markets claimed 15.7%, down from 16.8% a year ago.
The survey indicated that 52.8% of food purchasing power is directed to chain stores, up from 52.2% a year before.
Giant supermarkets attracted 23.5% of food purchases, down from 24.7% last year; large supermarkets accounted for 16.1%, up from 14.6%; medium-sized supermarkets attracted 2.2%, down from 4.2%.
Neighborhood chain supermarkets accounted for 3.2%, similar to their 2.9% slice of the market last year, while haredi-oriented chains grew to 7.8% from 5.8% a year ago. Non-chain, haredi food sellers lost some of their clientele, falling to 1.9% of purchases from 2.7% last year. Supermarkets targeting Russian immigrants claimed 2.9% of the market, down from 3.1% last year. Similarly, small Russian food stores accounted for 1.9% of purchases, against 2.1% last year.
Factory stores sold 5.5% of food bought in the country, up from 4.8%.
Separately, the Central Bureau of Statistics said Sunday that sales in chain stores rose an annualized 12.2 percent in the months of February, March and April, holding prices fixed, following an 8.8% rise in the previous three-month period.
Chain stores supply the data through a monthly CBS survey designed to provide an index of consumer spending one month before data on retail revenues can be gathered through the tax authorities.
Sales at the chains rose 2.6% in April in seasonally adjusted terms, and 0.8% in both March and February, the bureau said.
Food sales in chain stores rose an annualized 6.5% from February through April, having risen 2.6% from November through January. Chain store food sales rose a seasonally-adjusted 1.3% in April, having grown 1.2% in March and fallen 0.6% in February.
In another CBS release, the bureau said that commerce and services revenues grew an annualized 3.1% in the first quarter, having risen 8.1% in the fourth quarter of 2005.
Retail revenues advanced 1.7%, after a 6.3% annualized rise in the fourth quarter, while wholesale revenues grew 1%, following a 4.8% rise. Food and hospitality services revenues grew 2.2%, after an 8.8% rise, and revenues among real estate agents and business service providers grew 11%, having risen 17.3% in the previous quarter.