Market Wise

Tsomet books plans to introduce coffee shops in 12 of its 90-plus stores.

coffee 63 (photo credit: )
coffee 63
(photo credit: )
TIRED OF taking a hand off the keyboard to click your mouse? Well, it may surprise you - but you don't have to. You can use a treadle mouse instead. Dagesh Computers and Technologies, which specializes in finding solutions for people with physical problems, or simply for people who need to have both hands free for other operations, is selling a foot-mouse that is particularly useful to DJs and musicians, but no less useful to someone who needs to have both hands free or to someone has the use of only one hand. ENERGY DRINK XL is launching a NIS 2.5 million marketing campaign featuring dance queen Rona Lee Simon under the word-play slogan "XL Yourself." The 25-second commercial will be shown on local television channels and will remain in force for one month. The campaign will also be featured on billboards and the Internet. Simon's fee for promoting the effervescent beverage will be $40,000. NOTWITHSTANDING COMPETITION from television or the Internet, Israelis are still the People of the Book, and they like to read - especially when booksellers make books more affordable. Tsomet Books has been reducing prices for quite a while, and by popular demand reintroduced it "four books for NIS 100" campaign. The upshot was that 2008 was a record year for Tsomet, which outpaced the industry by many percentage points and improved its own record over the previous year by 20 percent, with sales of NIS 300m. Sales also increased by nearly the same ratio in southern centers, where despite the tensions and loss of income, people found escapism in books. Despite general gloom-and-doom predictions for 2009, Tsomet is going ahead with its expansion plans and will introduce coffee shops in 12 of its 90-plus stores. In the past year Tsomet opened 14 new stores and plans to open 20 more during 2009. The coffee shops will be managed by two leading chains. If the coffee-shop experiment proves successful (and it should judging by the success of a similar experiment on a smaller scale by Steimatzky), Tsomet will open additional coffee shops in other branches. The concept is a win-win strategy. Almost every bookstore has its serial browsers who don't come to buy but to read newspapers, magazines and even books. Aware of this, Tsomet installed tables and chairs in its larger stores. The browsers often hang around for so long that they are sorely in need of refreshments; so even if they don't buy their reading material, they will at least pay for the coffee and cake or a sandwich. Conversely, people sitting in one of the coffee shops within the framework of the bookstore, especially when waiting for a relative or friend to show up, would like to have something to read while passing the time away. Very often, what they pick up interests them so much that they want to finish reading it; so they buy it because their table partner has shown up in the interim. ISRACARD THIS week launched its first campaign for 2009: the MORE Credit Card, which takes new strategies into account, provides more credit than the banks and enables card holders to also pay by check if they so desire. The campaign is being presented by Dorit Bar-Or and Rami Vered. MURPHY'S LAW says that if you arrive nice and early at the airport, chances are that your flight will be delayed and you could be cooling your heels for hours. On the other hand, if you're running late, especially if there are long lines for the security inspections and at the check-in counters, your plane will either leave exactly on time or even a few minutes early. If you manage to get on the plane regardless, it means missing out on duty-free purchases, which for the Israeli traveler is almost a reason to be in mourning. In this shop-until-you-drop nation, access to duty-free shops is of far greater significance than the flight abroad. El Al passengers no longer have to worry. Aside from being able to make their usual in-flight purchases, they can make them ahead of time on the Internet and the goods will be delivered to them on board the plane. Better still, anyone who orders duty-free via the Internet gets a 10% discount. El Al aims to increase its market share by improving services, and this is but one example of what it intends to do. THE BEST way to promote Israel's prestigious Agritech Fair is by showing some of Israel's agricultural miracles to ambassadors, commercial attaches and consuls so that they can report back to their countries and evoke interest and curiosity. With this in mind, the Israel Export Institute has organized a special tour for members of the diplomatic corps to show them some of the country's miracles and enable them to taste some of the fruits of Israel's innovative approach to agriculture. More than 40 diplomats have signed up for the tour, which will be led by the IEI's Yitzhak Kiryati, who heads the department for agriculture and water. The tour will take place Thursday and will primarily include examples of Israel's ability to cope with scarcity of water through drip irrigation and desalination projects. The diplomats will also visit flower and plant nurseries to see some of the beautiful blooms produced by local flower growers and to get some understanding of the scope of the flower industry. Agritech will be held from May 5-7 at the Israel Trade Fairs and Convention Center in Tel Aviv. NO LESS than the election campaign broadcasts, repetitive commercials can become very boring and even annoying. That may explain why Wissotzky Tea hired comedian Eli Yatzpan to be its presenter. Yatzpan's acting talents will come to the fore to create not quite as many characters as the number of blends that Wissotzky markets, but the commercials are aimed at boosting tea consumption, and sales will at least be different and even funny.