Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Economy and Industry Minister Nir Barkat on Monday visited a new branch of the Carrefour international supermarket chain in Jerusalem, which will be launched on Tuesday together with 49 others. Electra Consumer Products CEO Zvika Schwimmer and Carrefour Israel CEO Uri Kilstein were also on hand.
Carrefour is a French multinational retail and wholesale corporation headquartered in Massy, France. It is the world’s eighth-largest retailer by revenue and operates a chain of supermarkets, grocery, and convenience stores, which by December 2021, comprised 13,894 stores in more than 30 countries.
It appears this multinational conglomerate trusts Israel’s economy enough to invest in it. Introducing this powerful competitor to the country’s retail market will go a long way to increase competition and reduce the cost of living.
As we reported on Monday, Carrefour is opening 50 new branches in Israel by midday Tuesday, an investment of NIS 250 million ($68 million)) to its parent company Electra Consumer Products (Carrefour Launches 50 Supermarket Branches in Israel).
Prime Minister Netanyahu said during his visit to one of the new branches: “The entry of the first international retail chain to Israel is gigantic news for the citizens of Israel regarding competition and the lowering of prices. Together with Economy Minister Nir Barkat, we have approved the entry of the European standard.”
He continued: “Citizens of Israel, what is good for Europe is also good for Israel. This means that prices will be dropping. They will drop by dozens of percent on hundreds of products, and thousands in the future. This is news for the supermarket cart of every Israeli citizen who, once a week, spends thousands of shekels on a supermarket cart.
“But now, think about the hundreds of shekels that will be saved every week, meaning that thousands of shekels will be saved yearly off the prices you pay in the supermarket. This is the start of a change, which began when we enacted free education for infants ages 0-3. Together we are fighting the cost of living and increasing competition for the benefit of the citizens of Israel.”
One of the new Carrefour branches is being launched in Beit Shemesh, a city with 70% Haredim. The conglomerate did its homework: Beit Shemesh is one of the fastest-growing cities in Israel, which is connected through urban sprawl to Modi’in, another fast-growing majority-religious city. Now, should Carrefour be able to offer its Haredi customers the kind of prices to which they are accustomed, then Netanyahu’s perception would be proven right.