March 7, 2016

It’s March, Passover is Still Weeks Away, and the Industry is Loving It

New York - This is not an ordinary March when operators of Passover programs would just about shut down their marketing and when retailers would frantically prepare for the Passover rush. 2016 is a leap year in the Jewish calendar which essentially pushed Passover to the eve of April 22nd, as much as a month later than the holiday falls in some years. For Passover program operators like Avi Faskowitz of Majestic Retreats it means that people are still making up their minds. Faskowitz runs programs in Ft. Lauderdale and Orlando where a new year-round kosher program will be launched at the Rosen Plaza with the Passover program. Other operators say that the extra time “takes the panic out of March.” Retailers are focusing on a banner Purim (March 24th) season. Many like Evergreen in Monsey have life-like displays of some of the characters of the Purim story. The stores have in recent years turned Purim into a significant profit period. Although some stores will begin to slowly open their Passover aisles with an endcap of Matzoh and macaroons, for most the Passover retail season will begin in earnest on Sunday March 27th. Seasoned Passover retail managers begin with a display of cleaning supplies as the cleaning process begins to take shape, followed by ingredients for cooking and baking and lastly the perishables. One retailer said: “You have to know what you are doing on Passover. Timing is everything.” What he meant is that understanding the lifestyle of the customer is key to strong sales during the lucrative Passover season.