Efrat Nomberg Yunger | mako | published 09/05/2023 09:00 | updated 09/05/2023 09:11
After twelve months of waiting it is finally happening: French chain Carrefour is making Aliyah and opening 50 branches simultaneously. The new branches, replacing former Yeinot Bitan stores, have already been designed in the international chain’s colors, and boast a private “best price” label alongside well-known Israeli brands. But can Carrefour affect a price revolution, and give Shufersal and other strong competitors such as Victory, Rami Levi, Osher Ad and Yochananof a real fight?
Like the rest of the Israeli chains, Carrefour boasts a private label. In addition, Carrefour stores will offer well-known products that Israeli consumers are still willing to pay more for. While all eyes are on the new chain, which, as its VP of Marketing Shai Ben Avi has promised, is expected to “break the market”, we have compared the prices of notable products offered in Carrefour’s private label to Shufersal’s and Rami Levi’s private labels, and of course to the prices of each category’s leading brand.
As our comparison reveals, Carrefour’s prices are much more affordable than the leading brand and Shufersal’s private label. However, the competition between the new chain and Rami Levi is fierce. Carrefour representatives stress that they offer quality products manufactured in Europe, and are sold for a lot less than the leading brands.
How can Carrefour guarantee competitive prices considering the costs of shipping, regulation and manufacturing Kosher products for Israel’s unique market? In an interview for Globes, Carrefour Israel CEO Uri Kilstein explained that he is counting mostly on the reform that is already in effect, allowing international retail chains that open Israeli branches to import hundreds of products without inspection – shortening the import process and saving on costs.
Carrefour’s strength in comparison to Israeli chains is its immense variety: 400 cleaning, toiletry, and food products, as well as approximately 600 non-food products under Carrefour’s private label, in addition to the intent to parallel-import leading brands at lower prices than the official importers. However, it is clear that prices here will not match prices in France due to the cost of import to Israel, which includes inspections and approvals by kosher authorities, the Standards Institution of Israel, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Agriculture, as well as customs clearance.
The new chain’s most significant challenge will be meat, chicken, milk, and cheese products, as at the moment Carrefour is expected to rely mostly on local produce, because of kosher and regulation requirements. In addition, Carrefour will have to contend with the perceptions of Israeli consumers, who view low prices as a sign of lower quality, and to adjust to the Israeli market that prefers the well-known over innovation and adventure.
True competition will commence when Shufersal, who is currently awaiting approval from the Competition Authority, opens its franchise stores under Dutch brand SPAR. Then we will see whether true change is coming or whether Carrefour will slowly align with Israeli prices.
Three types of branches
Carrefour International has 14 thousand branches in 49 countries excluding Israel, and its sales turnover is approximately €81 billion per year. Because Israel is the 50th country the chain has expanded into, Carrefour International favored the opening of 50 stores simultaneously, scattered all over Israel. By the end of the year this number will increase to 80-100 branches.
Branches will be opened in three formats, according to Carrefour’s system: Carrefour City (neighborhood stores), Carrefour Market (medium-sized branches), and Carrefour Hyper (discount stores). Initially, three Hypermarket branches will be launched in Ra’anana, Netanya, and Beit Shemesh, covering 2,500-4,000 sqm each, in comparison to Market branches covering about 1,200 sqm. City and Market branches will be opened in various locations around Israel.
Complete Branch List
Or Yehuda – 13 Ha’Mifal St, Or Yehuda
Or Akiva – 2 Ha-Ilan St, Northern Industrial Zone, Or Akiva
Ashdod (Shasha) – 9 HaShayatim St, Ashdod
Ashdod (Rova 4) – 25 Rogozin St, Ashdod
Ashdod (Rova 12) – 14 Tamuz St, Ashdod
Ashkelon Barne’a – 6 Rakhel Leifer Miller St, Ashkelon
Be’er Sheva (Neve Ze’ev) – 32 Johana Jabotinsky, Be’er Sheva
Be’er Sheva (Jerusalem Blvd) – 42 Jerusalem Blvd, Neighborhood 9, Be’er Sheva
Beit Shemesh (Big Center) – Yigal Alon Blvd (Big Center), Beit Shemesh
Givat Shmuel – 1 Ha’Oranim St (commercial center), Givat Shmuel
Givatayim – 71 Weissman St, Givatayim Mall
Ganei Tikva – 78 HaGalil St, Givat Savion
Hod HaSharon – corner of Ben Gurion and Shalom Aleichem, Hod HaSharon
Herzliya (Rabbi Akiva) – 50 Rabbi Akiva, Herzliya
Herzliya (Nof Yam) – 10 Sha’ar HaYam St, Nof Yam, Herzliya
Herzliya (HaTsiyonut Square) – 34 Zohar-Tal St, Herzliya
Herzliya (Neve Amirim) – 82 Ben Gurion St, Herzliya
Zikhron Ya’akov – corner of HaShmura and HaKovshim, Zikhron Ya’akov
Holon – 2 HaMarganit St, Holon
Haifa (Ramot Alon) – 31 Yigal Alon, Haifa
Haifa (Greenberg) – 20 Greenberg, Ramat Begin
Jerusalem – 1 Avizohar St, Ramat Beit HaKerem
Kfar Yona – 44 Menachem Begin, Kfar Yona
Kfar Saba – 2 Ya’akov Cohen St, Kfar Saba
Modi’in – corner of Emek Beit She’an and Yehezkel HaNavi, Modi’in
Mazkeret Batya – 8 Lilakh, Mazkeret Batya
Ma’alot Tarshikha – 3 Shlomo Shrira St, Ma’alot Tarshikha
Matan – 84 Hadar St, Matan
Ness Ziona – 1 Avner Ben Ner, Ness Ziona
Netanya (HaPlada) – 13 HaPlada, Netanya
Netanya (Ir Yamim) – corner of Ben Gurion Blvd and Shazar, Ramat Poleg, Netanya
Netanya (Alonei HaSharon) – 26 Tom Lantos Blvd, Netanya
Netanya (Jerusalem) – 29 Jerusalem St, Netanya
Petah Tikva – 13 Kaplan St, Petah Tikva
Tzur Yitzhak – 9 Nahal Kanne, Tzur Yitzhak
Kiryat Ono – 57 HaNasi, Kiryat Ono
Rosh Ha’Ayin – 77 Yehoshua Bin Noon, Rosh Ha’Ayin
Ramla – 45 Herzl Blvd, Ramla
Ramat HaSharon – 33 Sokolov St, Ramat HaSharon
Ra’anana (Rama) – 12 Zarhin, Ra’anana
Ra’anana (Vatikim) – 11 HaHistadrut St, Ra’anana
Tel Aviv (La Guardia) – 76 La Guardia St, Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv (Dizengoff Square) – 7 Dizengoff, Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv (Maoz Aviv) – 209 Bnei Efraim St, Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv (Weissman) – 20 Weissman St, Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv (HaMashtella) – 9 Dr Elie Tavin, Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv (Tel Baruch) – 8 Aharon Becker, Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv (Ramat HaChayal) – 13 D. M. Marcus St, Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv (Neve Avivim) – 13 Oppenheimer St, Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv (Ramat Aviv Gimel) – 35 Aba Akhime’ir St, Tel Aviv