a different side of Israel

Tiv Taam Saves the Day Again

Tiv Taam Rosh Hashana BannerLooks like Arkady Gaydamak made a big mistake when he backed out of the deal he made to buy the Tiv Taam Supermarket chain. I’m sure that a couple million Israelis will agree that it’s very convenient for this quality supermarket chain to be open for business during the recent three day Rosh Hashanah holiday. I mean three days because the holiday fell just before the weekend meaning that people had to stock up on provisions for three days – a big problem if you need items like dairy products, bread items and fresh veggies.

Gaydamak’s plan was to “kosher” the chain which would have meant not only ridding it of a number of food items, including “fruit du mer”, as well as closing the stores on the Jewish Sabbath and religious holidays. Naturally, this act would have destroyed the ‘character’ of this supermarket chain which advertises itself as being open when its competitors are closed.

Despite a lot of adverse publicity as a result of selling poultry and other items (including eggs) past their allowed selling date, and the finding of unusually high counts of E-Colli bacteria and other germs in these food items, the chain still does plenty of business. Many stores have added extra departments of kitchenware, spices, and prepared ‘take out’ items so more and more people will shop there; even those who have otherwise have been reluctant to go to the supermarket’s expanding network of stores.

A good example of recent changes has been in the Tiv Taam store in Netanya’s south or Sapir Industrial Zone, where Tiv Taam is now located in a sophisticated shopping complex which includes an ARCAFE restaurant, a Best Buy appliance store, and a number of upscale clothing and notions stores. By being located behind the Ikea furniture store, and close to the Poleg traffic interchange, the Netanya Tiv Taam store has enjoyed a very strategic location which has undoubtedly helped in its total revenues. Even the recent opening of the Eden whole foods supermarket, only 100 meters away, hasn’t slowed Tiv Taam’s business down as they simply “re-arranged” things a bit compete with that “veggie store” down the road. Anybody who has been to both establishments will agree that if you want items like beer and soda pop, as well as numerous other things, they simply won’t be found in the “veggie store”. Besides, only Tiv Taam is open till 8 p.m. on Fridays and all day Saturday and holidays – except Yom Kippur, of course.

A lot of Israelis, even those who do cook and travel on Shabbat, will still boycott Tiv Taam stores due to their selling pork and other non-kosher products. That’s certainly their privilege; but for many others, it’s nice to have a clean and upscale place to go to when you run out of milk, bread, and scores of other items that wouldn’t be available without driving a long way to one of those Kibbutz run establishments, or perhaps all the way out to some place like Gan Shmuel.

Arkady, think again before turning down a good thing. It’s better than making cell phone commercials!

1 Comment

  1. I don’t think that Tiv Taam with ever receive the blessing of either Chief Rabbi.

    By then again, who cares?

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