Smart Shoppers Disappoint Retailers in Pesach Runup

YERUSHALAYIM -

A disappointing pre-Pesach retail season was attributed in part to more sophisticated shopping among Israelis, according to a review of the period in Globes on Monday.

Sales of cleaning materials in particular were reported low in comparison with previous years.

“Customers have by now realized that they don’t need twenty different sprays for windows, stoves, and so on; that they can buy one cleaning reagent that does everything they need,” one retailer said.

Overall, the period was marked by a lack of competition, or price wars, among the big supermarket chains, resulting in moderate food sales and relatively high prices for most products.

“Pesach was weak this year in comparison with previous years,” agreed another retailer. “Shopping for the holiday was mainly concentrated in the last week, and for three strong days. Compared with last year, same-store sales fell because of cannibalization between branches. There was a kind of tacit agreement between the chains not to go crazy with prices this year.”

Last week, prices in most retail chains rose, and the supply of products which had been sold at bargain prices such as fresh meat imported from Poland, ran down, and even disappeared from many supermarket branches.