Hamashbir Ready to Hire Extra Staffers

Businessman Rami Shavit, who recently saved department store chain Hamashbir Lazarchan from bankruptcy by buying it, said the revamped company was about to hire another 200 workers.

After the chain encountered financial difficulties, about half its 2,400-member workforce was laid off. The remaining 1,300 workers will now receive new work contracts alonside severance notices, as part of an agreement between Shavit and the Histadrut labor federation, which helped Shavit win the bid for the chain.

Hamashbir, which Shavit said, is 25 percent short of manpower, is now preparing for the fall shopping season. Shavit has said in the past he plans to bring in a younger workforce, more suited in particular for the clothing departments.

Shavit is renegotiating the rental contracts of several branches and will relaunch two branches in mid-June, he said. The stores in the Ramat Aviv Mall and Haifa's Grand Canyon Mall are to be renovated. The management of the Ramat Aviv Mall had expressed an interest in evicting Hamashbir, but Shavit says the relaunch will change their minds. The mall's management said the issue is still under examination.