Supermarket chains are beefing up the competition. Tiv Tam, which has 13 branches across the country, has launched a web site costing of $70,000, and plans to spend a further $200,000 improving the design of its stores.

Ilat Izen, of Sadna Design and Technology, which is responsible for the chain's restyling, said Tiv Tam is in the process of a style facelift, which will include replacing everything where the company's logo appears, such as trucks and bags.

Although the chain has focused more on its range of products and the experience of shopping at its stores, it recently took to advertising in a Dan region local paper, encouraging shoppers to visit its new store at Segula Junction, where products are sold "at attractive prices". A spokesman said Tiv Tam frequently adjusts its marketing strategy.

Clubmarket has meanwhile decided to bring itself in line with the largest supermarket chains, and has chosen Exel to set up a new logistics center. The center should be open by the end of 2005, and from there all products will be sent out to Clubmarket stores. Exel is a leading player in goods supplying networks for retail chains.

CEO Yakov Ginsburg said the site will extend over 25,000 sq.m. and the company has yet to decide on the location. Clubmarket is apparently learning a lesson from rival Supersol which invested NIS 200 million in a similar-sized logistics center.