May 16, 2011

Mixed Reviews on Effect of Late Passover on Kosher Sales

New York…It is not surprising that retailers across the country could not agree if this year’s relatively late Passover had positively or negatively affected sales. Also not surprising was that there was no unanimity on the final tallies on kosher for Passover sales. It seemed that those who agreed that the late Passover helped stimulate sales put increased sales at 10% - 12% while those who opined that an early Passover is better for retail sales said that sales were either flat or somewhat in decline. Nor was the argument reserved for the US market. In Israel, according to Globes, revenue at Shufersal, Israel's largest supermarket chain rose 1% to NIS 2.79 billion from NIS 2.77 billion. However, same store sales fell 2.9%, because Passover fell in late April year instead of late March in 2010. It seems that those who consider the late Passover a boon say that the leap year afforded more time for proper marketing and merchandising while some who thought of it as a negative said that more people travelled, particularly in Israel. Some retailers said that the calendar did not influence sales as much as the way the holidays fell with three buying periods (i.e. first days, Shabbat, and second days). One retailer said: “The late Passover always helps; perhaps it’s the better weather.” He added: “There is something psychological about the extra time that I can’t quite put my finger on.”