Shoppers who want the best value for their money learned long ago that the best place to shop is in a supermarket geared to a haredi clientele

Water-224-88 (photo credit: )
(photo credit: )
CAREFUL SHOPPERS who are interested in getting the best value for their money learned a long time ago that other than outdoor markets, the best place to shop is in a supermarket geared to a haredi clientele. Everything, but literally everything, is cheaper in these facilities and often better. There's certainly no better retail outlet for alcoholic beverages, which are often priced at half of what they cost elsewhere. Certain products on the shelves of haredi-oriented supermarkets cannot be found in regular supermarkets. By the same token, many of the products in regular supermarkets will be never be seen in haredi-oriented supermarkets because the standard of kashrut of those products does not meet the requirements of the haredi community. Why are the latter facilities so customer friendly? Because most of their customers are making purchases for large families and they are buying in bulk, and bulk sales are almost always cheaper. However, customers can't help getting confused. For instance, the largest chain of haredi-oriented supermarkets is owned by the same people who own Shufersal, which is the largest mainstream chain of supermarkets. Although Shufersal, formerly known as Super-Sol, is increasingly introducing a lot of its own branding and selling products under its label at prices lower than identical products under other brand names, it isn't doing much to increase its range of merchandise. On the contrary, many products that were on the shelves when there was less affluence in the country have disappeared. Conversely, there are new products in the stores that are pushing for haredi customers. But here, too, there is confusion - even more so. More than a decade ago, the Greenberg chain opened up for the haredi shopper, but financial problems got in the way. The store sign was removed and replaced by Zol Po, which in turn was replaced by Alef, which has just been replaced by Yesh, which is owned by Shufersal. Yes, there have been subtle and even major differences with each name change, but the average customer can't grasp why it has to happen. For that matter mainstream customers are not quite sure how to differentiate between Shufersal, Shufersal Deal, Shufersal Big, or Shufersal Sheli except for the floor space that, at its maximum, allows for a greater variety of goods. Yesh was launched this week at a ceremony attended by Shufersal co-chairmen Rafi Bisker and Sholom Fisher, along with Shufersal CEO Effi Rosenhaus. There are currently 48 Yesh branches with four more due to open before the end of the year. The target is to have 56 branches by the end of 2009. Yesh plans to spend NIS 7 million on a marketing campaign to familiarize potential customers with its brand name and let them know its prices are more affordable than those of its competitors. GO ACTIVE Fitness Clubs are negotiating to open four family-oriented branches at an investment of NIS 30m. Go Active CEO Guy Blankstein says it is important for children to become fitness conscious at the earliest possible age, with a view to averting tendencies toward obesity. In addition, he says, a fitness club in which families can interact together helps to promote family unity. WHILE CELEBRITY chefs associated with well-known eateries are quite happy to share some of their secrets on TV cooking programs, it's not often that they encourage the public to come to cooking workshops in the restaurants where they actually work. Roladin, the chain of pastry and coffee shops, is embarking on an interesting marketing ploy by holding a series of workshops in all of its branches located in shopping malls. The workshops are free of charge, but obviously, once they are exposed to all the goodies in the store, most of the people attending the workshops will not be able to resist the urge to buy and try. The one-hour workshops will be held this Thursday at 6 p.m, on Friday at 11 a.m., August 28 at 6 p.m., August 29 at 11 a.m., September 4 at 6 p.m., September 5 at 11 a.m., and September 20 and 21 at 6 p.m. Participants will learn how to make mini éclairs with different fillings and how to use different fruits in fruit cakes and tarts. PRIZE-WINNING actor and comedian Avi Kushnir will continue as the presenter for AIG in three campaigns the company is running this month at an investment of NIS 5m. For the first time in its Israel campaigns, the company will advertise provocative life-insurance policies in which viewers will be asked to determine how much they think they're worth. AIG will also continue marketing its accident insurance policy for people over the age of 50. IF YOU want to promote a product, you give it to a celebrity or a well known business person whose acumen becomes an instant endorsement. Thus, when Aqua Nova sought to market the value of its organic product as the best way in which to help organic gardens to flourish, it presented miniature fruit trees to Elbit president Yossi Ackerman, sports and business personality Mickey Dorsman, broadcasting husband-and-wife team Eli Ildis and Micky Haimovich, husband-and-wife journalists Yair and Lihi Lapid, and multi-faceted businesswoman and Israel film industry supporter Galia Albin. Already dedicated to a fit-and-healthy lifestyle, Albin is committed to organically grown fruit, vegetables and flowers. She was delighted to a find a place for her miniature tree in her Herzliya Pituah mansion that overlooks the sea. She was also happy to receive the Aqua Nova, but left it to her gardener to experiment with while she went to Beijing to watch the Olympic Games.