Stores were the clear winners on Israel’s Election Day, as millions of citizens hit the malls and restaurants during the day off work.
Most malls and restaurants were open.
Credit card transactions were up 20% between 10 A.M. and 2 P.M. versus a standard weekday, and by noon some 6,000 transactions a minute were reported, according to Sheba, the company that operates the national payment system for Israel’s credit card companies.
Restaurants also noted an increase in customers, but Shay Berman, chairman of Israel’s restaurant union, said that it was deceptive. Restaurants rarely see an increase in revenues at the end of a month with elections, he said. While more people frequent restaurants during the day, business drops off in the evening and the following days. They tend to go home to watch TV exit polls by evening, he noted.
The supermarket chains and the malls, on the other hand, said Election Day was the first day of the Passover shopping season. Passover starts in a week and a half.