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October 25, 1991 - Image 97

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1991-10-25

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Pre
Diamond spectacular''


4e: 'A.. •

Shopping Malls Leave
Mark On Israel Society

JOEL BAINERMAN

Special to The Jewish News

T

el Aviv — To a popu-
lation used to shop-
ping in small local
stores or Middle Eastern-
style open markets, the open-
ing of the Canion Ayalon Mall
in the Tel Aviv suburb of
Ramat Gan three years ago
sparked off a revolution in
Israeli shopping and con-
sumption patternS and set
new standards for retail mer-
chants and chain stores.
Testifying to its success is a
recent survey of merchants in
non-shopping mall locations
in Tel Aviv and Ramat Gan:
Sixty-five percent of those
polled said that they are no
longer satisfied with the loca-
tion of their stores, 48 percent
are seriously considering
moving to a mall, 46 percent
acknowledged that since the
Canion Ayalon opened their
sales have decreased, and 14
percent said by as much as
30-50 percent.
The Canit Company, which
built the Canion Ayalon, has
invested nearly $20 million in
the project. From the start
they understood that such a
large-scale commercial pro-
ject intended solely for rental
was going to be unique in
Israel.
Sar-Shalom Siran, the
general manager of Canit,
says that probably the biggest
difference between malls in
North America and Israel is
that here the mall's manage,
ment plays a far bigger role ii.,
supervising shops, giving in-
structions on pricing,
marketing and customer
service.
Currently, the mall's turn-
over is about $120 million a
year, a figure equal to a shop-
ping center in North America
twice its size. Sales of mer-
chandise at the stores are in- '
creasing at an annual rate of
18 percent.
Canadian developer David
Azrieli designed the Canion
Ayalon and together with
Canit, brought the enclosed
mall to the Israeli consumer.
"Canion is a Hebrew word
that we invented — a com-
bination of `kniya' (buying)
and `henyion' (parking)," he
said. "In order to change the
concept Israelis had of shop-
ping, we had to find a word to
replace the 'Supers' the
public had come to associate
with shopping."
Canit is in the final plann-
ing stages to erect a shopping
mall, similar in scale to Ca-
nion, in Beersheva, the

capital of Israel's Negev
Desert. The most prestigious
and largest of all Canit's pro-
ject is its planned shopping
center in Jerusalem. The net
built-up areas will be twice
that of Canion Ayalon — more
than 35,000-square-meters.
A third, 6,500-square-
meter, $5 million center will
be built in- Eilat in Israel's
most southern city on the
shores of the Red Sea. The
stores will be sold for
$2,000-$3,000 per square
meter or rented at an annual
fee of 15 percent of the pur-
chase price.
Another developer is
building yet another shopp-
ing center called Canion
Hasharon in Netanya, a
coastal town a half hour's
drive north of Tel Aviv with
130,000 inhabitants. The $50
million project will span
40,000-square-meters on four
levels and charge merchants
$30 a square-meter rent.
When opened in 19 months, it
will have space for 450 cars,
four cinemas, eleven restau-
rants, and a water fountain.
Shopping malls are indeed
profitable in Israel. Canit ex-
pects proceeds to reach $120
million this year from Canion
Ayalon, a real 35 percent in-
crease compared to the
previous year.
But how many shopping
malls are too many? Since Ca-
nion AYalon opened its doors,
shopping mall projects have
appeared in droves. To the
eleven that exist today, nine
more are in the planning
stages.
One of the reasons for the
boom in malls in the last few
years has been the high price
of purchasing retail outlets,
with some 50-square-meter
shops in Tel Aviv going for as
high as $100,000. Another is
the fact that for builders and
investors, a mall is a good,
long-term investment which
appreciates well against
Israel's hyper-inflated
economy.
Factors working against the
`mall phenomenon' include:
Israel's small population of
four million, skyrocketing
land prices, zoning costs and
interest rates. Another pro-
blem is that Israel lacks a
good number of anchor stores.
"The success of the Canion
Ayalon Mall is an expression
of the public's satisfaction,"
Mr. Shiran says. "The com-
bination of shopping and
family entertainment signi-
fies a radical departure in
lifestyle beyond the change in
commercial methods." 111

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THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

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