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Two years after launching Leader Price as its private brand in place of Select, Blue Square is cutting back on its operations. "In the framework of Blue Square's new policy, only products imported from Leader Price in Europe will be marked with the Leader Price trademark," Blue Square CEO Yoram Dar said yesterday.

Leader Price is a brand of Casino chain of France. Blue Square imports some of the Leader Price products from Europe, while others are manufactured locally and packed and marked with the Leader Price logo. Blue Square pays Leader Price for using its logo on the products that are made in Israel.

Blue Square has now decided to forgo the logo, and thus save on paying for its use. Products such as wafer cookies and sugar that were previously sold under the Leader Price brand are now being marketed under the names of the companies that are making them locally.

Over the past quarters, in light of the euro's 23-percent appreciation against the dollar in 2003, Blue Square's partnership with Leader Price - acquired in euros - has gone from being an advantage to a disadvantage due to the high prices.