Home Center. Discrimanatory discounts

Now at Home Center: Discounts for Arabs only

Customer accidentally stumbles upon secret 'minority discount' offered by Israeli home goods chain. 'I tried to think what would happen if it was a discount for Jews only,' he wonders

Ynet has learned that Home Center, a popular home wares chain that operates throughout Israel, has been offering preferential treatment to the Arab sector via special discounts they alone are eligible for, regardless of whether the store is situated in a mostly Jewish city.


Home Center customer Eli Chai arrived at his local branch at the Renanim Mall in Ra'anana last Tuesday, with the intent of buying a power drill, several tools and a number of other products. As the cashier began scanning his purchases at the checkout line, Chai noted that before passing each product the register computer would ask the cashier 'Minority Discount.' The cashier, said Chai, clicked 'no' and continued scanning the goods.


"I wasn't sure I had really seen what I thought I had," Chai recounted, "it was strange, I hadn't encountered anything like it before. I wanted to make sure, so I asked the cashier what the discount was, and why he was not giving it to me.


"He insisted that it wasn't a discount. But I said, cancel the purchase and scan it again. So he relented and said, 'It's a discount only for minorities'."


Chai claimed that, to his understanding, the chain offers a 10% discount on specific products for people belonging to a certain minority.


"I asked him what it meant, and he said, 'a discount only for Arabs'. I said, 'What do you mean, if I was Arab you would give me a discount?' He said yes. Definitively. It was really strange. I decided not to argue and to forgo the discount, so I paid full price for the products I had purchased.


"I didn't expect to get a discount, but I was appalled when I realized that had I been Arab I would have received one. I tried to think what would happen if it was a discount only for Jews, or Sephardim, or Ashkenazim," he concluded.


Home Center responded by stating that the controversial discount is company policy. "Home Center offers a wide range of attractive discounts throughout the year. As part of a plan to target specific communities, the chain offers different discounts for different sectors from time to time," the statement said.


Following Ynet's report, members of the far-right National Jewish Front - Itamar Ben-Gvir and Baruch Marzel - addressed an urgent letter to Attorney General Menachem Mazuz and to State Prosecutor Moshe Lador, in which they demanded that an investigation be launched against Home Center on the grounds that the discount constitutes discrimination, and is therefore unlawful.


פרסום ראשון: 08.07.08, 19:43
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