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The Blue Square supermarket chain has closed its branch on Dizengoff Square, Tel Aviv, and instead is expanding its nearby branch in the Dizengoff Center. The NIS 5 million investment will more than double the store's size from 1,000 square meters to 2,400 square meters, and at the same time turn the Blue Square Co-Op branch into a Super Center store. In its expansion, the supermarket will use space vacated by the Hamashbir Lazarchan store in its basement level.

According to president and CEO of Blue Square Israel, Yoram Dar, the decision to expand the Dizengoff Center site was taken in the light of a growth in the young catchment population in the area in recent years.

Within the next month, Blue Square plans to open a further five new stores at an investment of NIS 90 million. A 7,000-square-meter Mega branch will open in Hotzot Hamifratz, while a store in Kiryat Ata will be closed. A 5,000 sq.m. Mega store will open in Kiryat Atidim.

Two Super Center branches will open in September, the company announced, each of 1,500 square meters, in Haifa and Hadera.

"In 2002 we closed 15 stores," said Dar, "with another two or three to be closed by the end of the year. When we open a new Mega branch, we cut back on the number of branches in the area to prevent competition between our branches."