Major Importer Puts Off Price Hikes Under Pressure

By Shimon B. Lifkin

A shopping cart in a supermarket in Modi’in (Yossi Aloni/Flash90)

YERUSHALAYIM — Israeli consumers can feel relieved – albeit temporarily – as the importer Diplomat announced that it will put off planned price rises until after the Yamim Tovim, Globes reported on Tuesday.

Diplomat – a major importer of many popular brands – apparently gave in to pressure from retail chains, the Histadrut and the general public.

After negotiations with the retail chains that carry Diplomat products, the company said in a statement: “Within the past few days, Diplomat has proposed a plan to all its retailing customers containing continuing discounts, so that the consumer will be able to benefit from the previous prices until after the holidays. Customers that do not approve the proposal will not be supplied. It is important to point out that Diplomat encourages competition and does everything in its power to deal with it professionally and honestly. Diplomat is making great efforts to avoid raising prices, but because of inflation and global rises in input prices, it has only partially succeeded in doing so.”

“We would stress that Diplomat is an Israeli company operating in five countries and employing 2,500 people, 750 of them in Israel, and it has to maintain a minimum of financial strength in order to care for the welfare of its employees and for its shareholders, who include the public,” the statement said.

However, the Histadrut expressed dissatisfaction with Diplomat’s decision, as the freeze will only be until the end of October.

“The campaign on which we embarked last week is a long one and it will continue, and despite Diplomat’s vague announcement which promises nothing for the general public, the campaign continues at full strength,” the Histadrut stated.

Histadrut chairperson Arnon Bar-David threatened “that unless active operational steps are introduced in this matter, at the beginning of September I will convene the Histadrut institutions to declare a labor dispute in the economy.”

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