Marketwise: Green Banks

Bank Leumi CEO receives the Green Sign for her efforts to promote environmental awareness.

dollar 88 (photo credit: )
dollar 88
(photo credit: )
WHEN ONE thinks of green in relation to banks, one thinks of greenbacks. But with the declining value of the dollar, at least as far as Bank Leumi is concerned, green now refers to the environment. Bank Leumi CEO Galia Maor this week received the Green Sign from Environmental Protection Minister Gideon Ezra in recognition of the sterling efforts made by her bank to promote environmental and ecological awareness and responsibility. NEWPHARM HAS come up with an interesting and socially responsible means of getting more people into stores. Aware that many people keep medications in their medicine cabinets long after their expiry date, and equally conscious that some of these medications should be kept as far away from children as possible, especially those that become more toxic with time, the NewPharm chain is offering a reduced price on shampoos to anyone bringing such products in to the store. One NewPharm's strategies, says New Pharm deputy sales manager Eitan Sasson, is to make people more conscious about health and the environment. Many people who throw away old medications are not always careful to throw them into city dumpsters, he says, and may just throw them out the window where they could harm the environment. NewPharm will destroy such medications in the most effective way possible and give customers the opportunity to purchase a particular brand of shampoo for NIS 5 instead of NIS 15. According to Ofer Porat, head of NewPharm's pharmaceutical division, the shelf life of most medicines is somewhere between two to five years if the container remains closed; once it is opened, the product is likely to deteriorate. SABON SHEL PA'AM (Old Fashioned Soap) has 36 branches in Israel and 46 branches in the US, Canada, Poland, Romania, Holland, Belgium and Italy. It is now courting the Asian market and will open several branches in Japan. It has already opened a concept store in Tokyo at an investment of €800,0000. "This is our first venture into the Far East," said Avi Piatok, who, together with Sigal Kotler-Levi, founded Sabon shel Pa'am. In addition to soap, the company sells bath oils and other high-quality toiletries designed to pamper the skin and create a feeling of luxury and tranquility. ALTHOUGH BAGIR suits are strongly identified with the famous British firm of Marks and Spencer, which last year began stocking Bagir's iPod suits, the company is now making giant strides in the American market. It has teamed up with Sears, the fourth-largest retail outlet in North America, with 3,800 stores in the US and Canada and an annual turnover of $50 billion. The Bagir suits will be sold under the Sears brand name Covington - The Perfect Wardrobe. Sears will also stock Bagir's own Ecogir Recycled brand. GOLAN HEIGHTS Wineries CEO Shalom Blayer, who was at La La Land on Tel Aviv's Gordon Beach to launch the new Gamla Brut, was happy to raise a glass with Costa Rican Ambassador Noemy Baruch and her fiancé Shlomo Papirblat to toast them on their forthcoming marriage. The couple was among the first to taste the new bouquet. STRAUSS ICE CREAM scored a major success last year when it opened a temporary ice cream parlor on the old Tel Aviv Port in cooperation with several other companies. This year, it returns to the Tel Aviv Port until July 22 with the Magnum Factory Bar, located at what was previously Hangar 24. Ice cream lovers, particularly those who are keen on the Magnum range, can come and watch how they're made, can order their own combinations and can eat them as fresh as they come. CELEBRITY FASHION designer Gali Levi works for celebrities (she created Pnina Rosenblum's wedding gown), but is also a celebrity in her own right. She has teamed up with H&O to create an exclusive line of casual wear to be branded as the GL Collection. It will be sold only in H&O stores throughout the country. Out of a bevy of talented Israeli designers, H&O selected Levi because she is a well-known colorful figure who exudes the latest in style and originality, and appeals to large sections of the public. NEXT YEAR will mark the 50th anniversary of the appearance of the first Barbie Doll, arguably the best-known and best-selling doll in the world. No one can accuse Israel's Barbi Doll Industries of usurping the Barbie doll image or reputation, because the Israeli firm, founded only six months ago, happens to be owned by someone whose real surname is Barbi. Fashion designer Shoshana Barbi was fortunate to be able to cash in on her name and established her brand name, which quickly found a local and overseas following. She has now opened her first concept store in Tel Aviv's Baalei Melacha Street, adjacent to trendy Sheinkin Street, at an investment of NIS 500,000. The two-story premises include a showroom and retail outlet. MEMBERS OF the Miles and More Club can benefit from a cooperative venture between James Richardson Duty Free Stores at Ben-Gurion Airport and Lufthansa and its subsidiaries. Many travelers who chalk up miles in flight, never do enough flying to warrant being upgraded or to earn a free trip. But they can now take advantage of those few extra miles by using them to make purchases at James Richardson at the rate of $1 for every 275 miles. In addition, Miles and More members can purchase a 1 liter bottle of Chivas Regal for $29.90 instead of the regular price of $46.90. That offer is good until the end of July.