November 9, 2015

Near Collapse, an Israeli Supermarket Chain Begs Vendors to Keep Delivering

Tel Aviv - Imagine shopping at one of the Mega supermarkets in Israel and not being able to buy Coca Cola. Coke and a number of other companies halted deliveries to the rapidly collapsing chain. But late last week, Coca Cola Israel resumed supplies to the chain after receiving assurances of payment from Mega’s parent company Alon Blue Square. Mega used to be Israel’s second largest supermarket chain but it could not compete with stores that more heavenly discounted food items. In a meeting with suppliers last Thursday, Alon Blue Square CEO Avigdor Kaplan said he would not discriminate in favor of any supplier. The meeting took place at Kaplan's request, and Mega CEO Raviv Brookmayer also attended. Suppliers who took part in the meeting told "Globes", "We heard nothing new at the meeting that we hadn't previously read in the newspaper. Kaplan said something along the lines of 'We've reached agreement with the banks and bondholders and now it's your turn'." Kaplan meant the chain's demand that suppliers should supply goods on the credit terms that held before the crisis hit in the summer. A source at Mega told "Globes" that the chain could not continue to function without a return to the number of credit days it had previously.