June 26, 2017

Reset in Brooklyn Kosher Retail but “Kollel” a Steady Presence

Brooklyn NY - The “Bingo effect,” (referring to the Bingo, Costco-like discount store in Boro Park) say Brooklyn retailers, has diminished somewhat but is still cutting into sales of many retailers in Boro Park and Flatbush. The store was crowded with shoppers stocking up for their summer vacation locations, but it wasn’t all food. Many were buying beach chairs and products for their anticipated barbecues. On the eve of Passover, some stores said that they had lost as much as 25% of sales, but now several have seen a “reset” where the traditional customer has returned. Despite the Bingo effect on some stores, mostly smaller Mom/Pops, the KRM or Kollel store in Boro Park and Moshe’s in Flatbush are thriving. According to Brachia Binik, whose family owns both stores, while the store did initially suffer a drop in sales, “a loyal customer base” continues to shop at the store. Both KRM and Moshe’s are known for their sharply discounted prices. Each store offers valet parking and 18,000 square feet of every possible kosher food category.

Shoppers at Moshe’s enjoy the extraordinary selection of meats of a variety of kosher certifications, including the DYL certification, popular with the Sephardic Jewish community, a large fish department and even a Pizza store. “We’re the only kosher supermarket that offers discounts on kosher brands,” says Binik. He adds: “We’ve kept the prices low despite increases in the minimum wage, the hiring of additional personnel and the overall higher cost of doing business.” One woman, who had shopped at both Moshe’s and an upscale gourmet kosher supermarket, said that she saved “up to 35% on a shopping cart of $100”. At KRM and Moshe’s, community matters most as the stores donate as much as $500,000 a year to charity and the poor, offering discounts to community volunteers (i.e. Htazalah, Chaverim), supporting a kollel (post graduate rabbinical school), and even distributing free credit cards to the poor.