Most businesses in the Gaza vicinity, which are not food chains or drugstores, have been closed over the past few days. The shopping basket has changed, and residents in the south are only buying basics commodities and emergency goods.
According to reports by supermarket chains, the area's residents have mainly purchased mineral water, canned goods, black coffee, sugar and biscuits in recent days.
The New Pharm drugstore chain reported that residents have been buying large amounts of baby food and diapers, and that a rise of 30% has been recorded in the purchase of first aid kits, tranquilizers and chronic medications.
Gaza vicinity residents spend an average of about NIS 500 million (about $132 million) a month on food and other products, as well as on cafés and restaurants. The retail trade has nearly been put to a complete halt in the past few days.
According to Tamir Ben Shahar, CEO of the Czamanski Ben Shahar economic consulting firm, revenue losses of NIS 20 million ($5 million) from sales of non-food products have been recorded in the Gaza vicinity (excluding Ashdod), while loses of NIS 7 million ($2 million) have been registered in the catering market, which is not active at the moment.
"The residents only buy designated and pharmaceutical products," Ben Shahar said. "The time spent at the chains has been reduced to a minimum: They arrive, buy and leave."
Since the start of the Israeli operation in Gaza last Saturday, the sales of food products in supermarkets in the Gaza vicinity communities have dropped by 10%-20%. The sales of non-food products have suffered even more, and most stores are closed.