Lawrence, NY…Discount stores and the relatively affluent Lawrence community in the Five Towns may not go together. But according to Howie Klagsbrun, the relatively new KolSave kosher is gaining traction. It is quite different from the other store concept he manages, Gourmet Glatt, and is certainly not a Bingo (the Costco-like Boro Park discount market), he points out. But it is a store that offers value in every section, Klagsbrun emphasizes. “I operate with a fraction of the staff and am able to pass on the savings,” says Klagsbrun. No, he doesn’t stock multiple brands as most of the large independents do. In fact, unless he is able to offer a great deal, he doesn’t stock the national brands. That is not to say that the shopping experience is diluted in his 19,000 square foot supermarket. For the growing number of young Orthodox shoppers with large families, KolSave is finally a store that makes sense for them, particularly when it comes to price. Kosher industry experts say that there is a significant cost-conscious cluster of consumers in almost every major Jewish community and KolSave was smart to identify and cater to this group in the Five Towns. “Think of it as store that is wholly made up of specials,” said Klagsbrun. So what does a store like KolSave do to prepare for a major holiday like Passover? “We obviously step up our game,” he says.
Does the shopper at KolSave compromise? Perhaps, if they are looking to compare it with the kind of experience that is offered by stores like Gourmet Glatt, Evergreen and Season’s. But the essentials are very much available, whether it is produce, bakery, frozen or deli where the only difference might be that most of the counter is already pre-packaged. So how would you best describe the KolSave store? “It’s like a kosher Aldi,” he says.