The media, and many people from the Maaleh Adumim and Bet Shemesh areas, have been reporting price wars going on at their local supermarkets. Namely, Shufersal is trying to undercut Rami Levy in Maaleh Adumim, and the new Osher Ad in Bet Shemesh. But other stores seem to be getting in on it too. Any nearby store would have to compete!
Shoppers are thrilled. Prices like 3 NIS/kg for chickens have been reported. Produce can be found for half a shekel per kilo in some cases. 5 NIS for a bottle of oil...
Who wouldn't stock up? (Well, for us, it wouldn't make sense. All that gas and Kvish 6 tolls would wipe out any savings, for sure. But for those in the area....??)
I was part of an online discussion about this. Some customers were immensely happy, sharing their "scores" at the store. Then, there was the voice of dissent. The opinion expressed was that everyone should NOT take advantage of these sales, because in the long run they would lead to losses for Shufersal's competitors, who would struggle to stay open and would not be able to offer "low" prices anymore.
The argument was that the price war is a tactic that Shufersal can afford, but that Rami Levy and Osher Ad could not. Therefore, purchasing discounted groceries would be a bad move, as in the end, Shufersal would gain market share and jack up their prices...
I personally am not an economist. I don't understand all the ins and outs of a business. But my feeling is that the price wars will fade, and customers will shop at the stores they like to shop in. Some go to the same store every week. Others shop around, looking for deals. My gut tells me that neither Osher Ad nor Rami Levy will go out of business over a few weeks of price reductions.
And my hope is that a new reality will settle in: one in which the Israeli consumer can spend a lower percentage of income on food. Let's hope the economic realities will settle in, and Israelis will start to bargain hunt. My gut tells me that food prices can be lowered. Someone is getting VERY WEALTHY off of inflated prices...
I'm waiting for price wars here! When they come, you betcha I'm stocking up. I'll fill my freezer to the max! And I'll try to report how - some things I'll cook, and some things, I'll just freeze for later use!
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