French supermarket chain Carrefour is set to expand into the Israeli market, revolutionizing the shopping experience for customers across the country notorious for high food prices.
The international retailer will open 150 stores across the country, replacing popular supermarket chains Mega and Yeinot Bitan. With its grand entrance, Carrefour is expected to bring its branded products to Israel at prices unmatched in the current market.
“It means nothing less than a bang in the Israeli retail market, no one will come out unscathed,” an industry source told Ynet.
“This step can serve to circumvent the previous rules of the game in the Israeli market, where imports were processed directly through a local representative or an exclusive importer. Popular brands will now be delivered directly through Carrefour and the variety in Israel will increase substantially.”
Carrefour, which specializes in fresh groceries and also sells a variety of frozen foods, is the eighth largest retailer in the world with over 1,300 stores in 47 countries.
It is worth €82 billion worldwide, compared to Israel’s entire food industry, which is valued at around €12 billion.
Although most of its offices worldwide will be managed directly by the company itself, its Israel location will be operated by Electra Group, owner of Yeinot Bitan, which will act as concessionaire.
The Electra Group said its goal is to reduce prices by at least 20% compared to the current average in the Israeli market, which could put pressure on other retailers to lower their prices as well.
The arrival of Carrefour, with its deep pockets and ability to import products directly without the help of local middlemen, will become Israel’s largest retailers, including Shufersal and Rami Levi, and local importers, who are widely accused of artificially inflating prices , shock shrink their products.
Colgate, Gillet and Barilla are just some of the household brands that will be affected by the move.