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After buying the bankrupt Clubmarket chain, Super-Sol's (TASE: SAE) market share of retail sales has climbed beyond 40%, according to ACNielsen, a marketing information company.

Super-Sol alone accounted for 29% of the retail sector, while Clubmarket added a further 11.4%.

This is the first time since Super-Sol bought out Clubmarket from its receiver last year that the combined retailer's share of the bar-coded food market has surpassed 40%.

This only goes to strengthen Super-Sol's position vis-a-vis its suppliers, and the talks it is currently conducting in an attempt to wrest further discounts off its suppliers.

Chairman Avraham Bigger and CEO Effi Rosenhaus recently said that they expected to enjoy preferable conditions from the suppliers given their position in the market and the gap between Super-Sol and its next largest rival, Blue Square Israel (NYSE, TASE: BSI).

However, ACNielsen's figures also show that the smaller private chains are increasing their market share too. This list includes Super Aba Victory, Tiv Taam, Super Rama and Co-Op Jerusalem, which together had a 17% market share in December 2005 - up from 16% a year earlier.

The bar-code market accounts for some 70 percent of the total sum of food sales in Israel, estimated at some NIS 35 billion a year.