Rockets drive shoppers to Internet

Rockets drive shoppers to Internet

Tasting the impact of war for the first time.
Hizbullah rockets changed lifestyle of Israelis in northern region…

Rockets drive shoppers to Internet
Israel’s supermarket chains report a steep rise in use of their online services.
Michal Raz-Chaimovitz 24 Aug 06 11:28

Judging from sales on e-commerce sites, the recent war has caused changes in consumer habits, especially in purchases of food and basic products. The convenience of the sites, and the need to obtain supplies without leaving home led to an impressive rise in e-commerce purchases.

Super-Sol Ltd. (TASE:SAE; OTCBB:SSLTF) online retail site Net-Sal reported a 30% increase in sales during July-August, a period usually typified by moderate surfer traffic due to the summer break. The number of customers from Haifa and the northern region rose 250%, amounting to 30% of the total number of new customers. Delivery times were the same as usual, thanks to Super-Sol’s local outlets.

Net-Sal’s rival, Blue Square Israel (NYSE: BSI; TASE: BSI) site Blue Center, reports similar figures, with nationwide growth of 35% in the period mid-July to mid-August, compared with mid-June to mid-July (before the outbreak of war). The number of customers from Haifa and the north, mostly from Nahariya, Haifa and the Krayot, increased by 300%. A further 10% of customers were from Karmiel, Tefen and Misgav. Due to the early closure of the branches, Blue Center accepted orders up to 14:00, with deliveries made by 20:00. The average online spend reached NIS 500.

Net-Sal CEO Eran Sela said, “The mix of products purchased, especially by residents in the north, was typical for a war-time period. The lion’s share consisted of essential products such as canned foods and mineral water.”

The retail chains report that the increase in online shopping through Net-Sal and Blue Center is continuing. Sela said this indicated a successful experience for new customers who were introduced to a marketing channel that they were unfamiliar with. He also explained that more consumers had stayed in Israel during the summer months after cancelling vacations and trips abroad because of the war.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news – www.globes.co.il – on August 24, 2006
© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2006

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