Rami Levi - Ofer Vaknin
Retailer Rami Levi. Photo by Ofer Vaknin
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Rami Levi has been selling food for 35 years. But it's only in the last year that he started calling the shots. The big retail chains such as Super-Sol and Mega don't sneer at his chicken-for-a-shekel sales anymore. They view him as a worthy rival, and this year they started to emulate him as well.

Super-Sol was first, announcing the conversion of all its Super-Sol Big hypermarkets into discount Super-Sol Deal branches. It also unveiled a new brand, Super-Sol Deal Extra, which would offer especially alluring prices for bulk buying. Super-Sol belongs to Nochi Dankner's IDB group. Last Independence Day Super-Sol went one further, borrowing heavily from Rami Levi - kebabs and hamburgers for a shekel.

The Mega chain also adopted a "social" character, launching an ad campaign featuring single mothers and social activist Vicki Knafo.

The bottom line is the same. Rami Levi has the big chains running scared that they'll lose their customers. They're beckoning with their discounts, which is exactly how Levi built his business.

As the cottage cheese protest erupted, Levi was the first to slash the price of the curds, to NIS 4.90. The others followed suit.

Levi creates competition. He lowers prices in every city where he opens shop and wins in almost all price comparisons. Recently he earmarked a new target: opening a store in Tel Aviv, which would be his first there. If the competition follows in his wake, he will have shattered the sky-high prices of consumer goods and food in the city.