The drop in Shabbat commerce, which began toward the end of 2004, is continuing.
Statistics presented by Gamma show that sales on Shabbat comprise only 4 percent of the weekly proceeds for retail businesses, as opposed to 6 percent in 2003-2004.
April 2006 saw a 30 percent decrease in the volume of Shabbat shopping compared with the peak years. The average credit card purchase on Shabbat stands at NIS 388 (USD 86), while on Sunday the average sale is NIS 602 (USD 133).
According to Gamma CEO Ariel Ganot, the reason for the decrease in Shabbat shopping has to do with the fact that businesses remain open later on weekdays, allowing people to comfortably do their shopping after working hours. Another reason for the drop in Shabbat sales is that weekend shopping centers mainly on food, clothing, small home appliances and toys, while the costlier purchases are made between Sunday and Thursday, he added.
Data also showed that the preferred day for shopping in Israel is Tuesday, during which 21 percent of all weekly commerce takes place. Israelis shop less on Friday, when the average sale stands at NIS 371 (USD 82).