September 6, 2011

Back to School and Restocking Take Center Stage in Kosher Retail

New York…With Rosh Hashanah still nearly a month away, retailers proclaimed a rare new season: Back to School and Restocking. In kosher stores throughout the country, said one distributor, “things are getting back to normal.” Normal this year did not mean an immediate holiday rush as was the case in 2010, but a more conventional restocking of pantries and refrigerators after summer vacations. “Some of my stores were more focused on snack items and sandwich bread than on honey,” said the distributor, who was obviously referring to the back to school business. He guessed that the calendar would have a positive effect on the bottom line. While the distributor mentioned the demand for snacks, some of the stores reached by KosherToday said that parents were increasingly switching to “healthier items like small packages of carrots and non-sweetened beverages.” The concern over obesity, said one store manager, is definitely being felt at the check-out counter. But many stores were using the extra time to prepare properly for the upcoming holidays that will consume their attention for nearly 6 weeks. One store said: “The Jewish calendar was definitely in our favor this year and it certainly makes up for last year’s squeeze when Rosh Hashanah was but a few days after Labor Day.”