The brand's franchise store was inaugurated Sunday in the Dizengoff Center shopping mall in Tel-Aviv, on an area vacated by the Shekem Electric electronics chain store of the Electra Consumer Products Group.
Benetton franchise owners in Israel, Dubi Shneidman and Eran Weizer, have signed agreements for stores in Rishon Lezion's Hazahav Mall, the Ir-Yamim Mall in Netanya and the Beersheba mall built by Melisron owner and businessman Eli Lahav.
The store will have a 250-350 square-meter (2,690-3,760 square-foot) sales area and will be built at a NIS 4-5 million ($1.12-.139 million) investment. The franchise owners are planning to open an additional 15 stores in Israel.
This is Benetton's third entrance into Israel. The last time the brand left the country was in the late 1990s after poor performance, due mainly to its high pricing. This time, the franchisers promise, prices will be more competitive.
"Benetton will carry the logistics and shipping costs so we can offer the products at a good price," Shneidman told Calcalist. He also promised that the company would further lower prices if the euro drops. Eran Weiser added, "Pricewise, the brand will compete against ZARA and Castro."
International Benetton holds a line of related products which the Israel franchise owners are considering bringing to Israel at a later stage. "Linen and household goods are not Benetton's core business," says the global chain's representative, who is visiting Israel. "Benetton is reinstating its past forte – colorfulness and basic fashion."
The launch of the Tel Aviv store will be accompanied by a billboard and press campaign in addition to a promotional event at an overall investment of NIS 1.2 million ($330,000). The brand's advertising campaigns will be based mainly on materials from the company's headquarters abroad.
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