April 20, 2009

Recession? Not in Israel this Passover

Tel Aviv…A record 500,000 Israelis were on the move on the eve of Passover, many flocking to hotel destinations throughout the world. Restaurants, coffee houses, malls and shopping centers all reported an increase in the number of shoppers as compared to last year. Israel Money reports that restaurants and coffee houses that offered kosher menus were particularly big winners. Large Shopping Centers chains reported a 7% rise in the number of visitors compared to Passover 2008, and a 25% rise compared to an ordinary weekday. Five thousand people visited the Ikea restaurant in Netanya at the start of the week of Pesach—a record number since its opening. The furniture store also reported a 4% rise in customers and a 10% rise in sales. On Sunday, some 22,000 people visited Ikea on Sunday, compared to 7,000 – 8,000 customers on a regular day.

KosherToday has learned that some supermarkets catering to the Orthodox Jewish community in Jerusalem reported as much as an 18% increase in sales. Matzoh sales hit record highs in several large communities, including Bnei Brak and Ashdod.