The Azrieli Group has backed off plans to open an official Apple Store in Israel. The group had conducted negotiations to open an Apple Store in the Sarona Center in Tel Aviv, but the Israeli group decided to back away from the deal, citing conditions it would be too difficult to fulfill, Yediot Acharonot said.
Apple has reportedly sought to open an official Apple Store in Israel for the past several years, and has held discussions with several groups on the matter. Previous negotiations had seen the possibility of an Apple Store opening on Rothschild Boulevard in Tel Aviv, or in the Malcha Mall in Yerushalayim. According to the report, the group was unable to find a mall to host the store because Apple was demanding too much money for the franchise.
Apple products and service in Israel are provided by several authorized dealers, including iDigital, iStore, Cdata, and several direct importers. All these dealers take a commission on sales, and do not supply all the services available at Apple Stores, including free consultations with experts.
Apple has a large development presence in Israel, with nearly 1,000 employees, its highest concentration outside the U.S. The company recently completed a new development center in Herzliya.