Israeli discount supermarket chain Rami Levy Chain Stores Hashikma Marketing 2006 Ltd. (TASE:RMLI) will shutter its deli counters in all of its branches, sources inform “Globes”. The supermarket insists that the decision was taken as part of a reorganization process, before the World Health Organization (WHO) report, which warned that processed meats contain carcinogens, and placed them in the same category as cigarettes and asbestos.
Israel’s third-largest supermarket chain will instead open fresh fish counters to replace the deli counters, which carry relatively-high operating costs, both in terms of personnel and the discounts on products.
Rami Levy has already closed the deli counters in some half of its 34 branches and will complete the process by the end of Q1 2016. The deli counters will be replaced by packaged cold cuts, which will be supplied to the chain by the manufacturers.
The supermarket chain had avoided opening fresh fish counters over the years, primarily due to the complexity of operating such sections and the shortage of qualified professionals. Rami Levy has opened the new fish sections in 5 branches thus far Kiryat Shmona, Kfar Saba, Ashkelon, Ashdod, and Beitar; the Modi’in branch will include the fish offering by the end of the year.
According to Levy, the fresh fish counters will be part of every store by the second half of next year. “A customer that buys fresh fish wants service. The biggest problem in the sector is employees, which is why some of the branches will sell prepared fresh fish that will be packaged for us at a Jaffa packing house.”
The fresh offerings will be primarily supplied by Lev Yam Aquaculture of which Rami Levy holds a 10% stake.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on November 19, 2015
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