The Shufersal chain is heading for the American retail market: Calcalist has learned that the chain owned by Nochi Dankner is set to open a branch of the chain's subsidiary, Yesh, in the town of Monsey in Rockland County, New York.
The kosher branch will replace a Pathmark supermarket. The first Yesh branch is set to open in the first quarter of 2011, ahead of the Passover holiday, and will cover and area of over 10,000 square meters.
Monsey is a significant aim for the Yesh chain as it is populated by a large Jewish population, most of which are young members of the Hassidic community. Yesh's entry into the local retail market will create competition for local kosher retailer Rockland, whose store is just minutes away from the community, and has been addressing the consumer needs of the religious Jews in the area.
This is the first time that an Israeli supermarket chain will be opening a branch outside of Israel, and the first time Shufersal has made its intentions for overseas expansion known.
54 branches in 2 years in Israel
Shufersal launched the first branch of its subsidiary Yesh two years ago. It caters to the haredi sector and large families and now numbers 54 branches under the Yesh name. The subsidiary was founded after Shufersal completed the purchase of the haredi Alef supermarket chain and with a 70 million shekel investment, converted its branches, and the branches of its own Zol-Po stores to the new format.
Over the past two years Yesh has won the favor of Israel's religious public, due among other things, to the troubles suffered by its competition Shefa Shuk which belongs to Blue Square (Ribua Kahol). The haredi population boycotted Shefa Shuk over an ongoing dispute with the Dor Alon group, protesting the group's refusal to close branches of its AM:PM supermarkets on the Sabbath.
Shufersal had no comment.
US market: 110,000 kosher products
The US kosher food market has a turnover of over $512 billion a year, an increase of 64% over the last five years alone. The number of products with a kosher certificate sold in the US reaches 110,000, and the number of companies operating within the market sector stands at 10,500.
Every year the American rabbinate bestows the kosher certificate on over 2,000 new products seeking to penetrate the country's kosher supermarkets.
'Regular' US supermarkets have been allocating extensive shelf space for kosher foods. These supermarkets sell close to 70,000 kosher products, as opposed to an average of 3,000 products which were available 40 years ago. Most of the country's kosher products are sold in the kosher departments of the 'regular' supermarkets. The main players in the market sector are: Publix, ShopRite, Albertsons, A&P and Kroger.
Orna Yefet and Olga Viniar contributed to this report
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