Eroding profits and lower sales are leading the owners of the Mega supermarket chain to change strategy, so it can gain a stronger foothold in the discount market.
David Weissman's Alon Holdings Blue Square Israel, which owns the Mega chain, says it will take an aggressive stand with its Mega Bool brand against low-cost competitors such as Rami Levy, Hetzi Hinam and and in particular, Super-Sol Deal.
Mega will cut prices on hundreds of items in certain central locations, with a focus on high-population areas where supermarket prices are relatively high. Mega hopes this strategy will draw in lots of new customers, and promises it will keep the prices low at least through the end of the year.
Mega is also pledging to refund money to customers if they find the product at a cheaper price at one of its competitors.
The first place Mega Bool will launch the sale is at the Segula Junction in Petah Tikva.
Local residents received flyers at home Wednesday evening with an announcement of lower prices, starting Thursday Mega cut prices on items such as onions, potatoes, cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots and cabbage - all now being sold for NIS 0.99 per kilogram; fresh chicken is going for NIS 9.99 per kilo.
Among the other products discounted are cornflakes, frozen fish, baby formula and toilet paper.
Prices could go down even further if competitors such as Super-Sol Deal take up the challenge and lower their prices in response.
Mega chose Segula since it is centrally located and serves customers from all over the area, not just Petah Tikva. Many other major chains, including discount ones, are located nearby.
As for why Mega chose to open its fight now, at the height of the summer: Industry sources said it is trying to prepare its placement before the Jewish holiday season starting in September, and to reverse its trend of declining sales as soon as possible.
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