Walmart in Israel?
For those of us who have moved to Israel, a trip back to the old country usually includes a shopping trip to a “big box” store – a football sized extravaganza of conspicuous consumption which, in our case, actually saves us money when comparing U.S. prices with those in Israel.
Who among us hasn’t left Israel with one piece of checked luggage and returned with three filled with boxes of batteries, piles of pants, telephone headsets, hard drives and a two year supply of toothpaste and deodorant?
Well, there may be good news for expatriates and price conscious Israelis alike: Haaretz reported this week that real estate company Minrav Holdings wants to bring Walmart to Israel. Minrav says it approached Walmart several months ago about entering the Israeli market and has already been scouting out sites. That may not be so easy, at least in the country’s urban areas – Walmarts can reach as large as 20,000 square meters.
If Walmart did come to Israel, it would be joining other international chains such as Ikea, Office Depot and even Cinema City (which has branches all across Europe), not to mention ubiquitous food vendors such as McDonalds and Pizza Hut.
Naturally both Minrav and Walmart had no comments, with Walmart going so far as to say “we don’t respond to rumors.” And no Wal-Mart representatives have visited Israel yet, Haaretz said. Still it’s a tantalizing possibility. It really is kind of a long trip to the States just to bring back 50 pairs of underwear.