With school starting on Monday, the annual rush to purchase school supplies is on. But instead of complaining about how much they have to spend on notebooks, backpacks and pencil cases, about 200 parents in the low-income Negev town of Netivot are celebrating a victory for parent power.
Thanks to local father Yaron Samami, who set up a purchasing group to score group discounts for back-to-school gear, all members of the group got a 15 percent discount Saturday night on all products at the local franchise of the Kfar Hashaashuim chain of toy and stationery stores.
A Netivot mother who gave her name only as Ina said she saved about NIS 170 because of the discount. She joined the purchasing group only after going to the store and seeing the sale that applied to group members. She rushed home to fill out a membership form and get back to the store in time to do her shopping. Now she's committed to the concept.
"Next time I'll buy only through the purchasing group," she said.
Another member of the purchasing group said the parents were happy with the results.
"The price makes us all smile," he said. "The success is shared by all the parents."
The franchise owner, Nissim Rahamim, said he also benefited, since the discount brought people into his store, even those who aren't members of the purchasing group.
Samami said he was surprised by the high level of interest.
"We thought that 10 families would join, but after a few days, the inquiries started piling up and suddenly, without realizing it, we got to 200 families," he said.
The principal of the city's Maagalim elementary school, Amnon Aberjil, also joined the group, praising the communal effort more than the reduced price.
"We defined our purchasing power as a group," he said.
Local resident Barak Edri, who came to the store with his wife and three children for the big Saturday night spree, concurred.
"It's an incredible success," he said. "There are people here who don't know each other and the purchasing group has created the connection. This must be carried over into other areas as well."
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