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Tel Aviv's Sarona market opens

The 8,700-sq.m. indoor culinary market will contain 89 carefully selected businesses.
Four years after the founding of the Sarona market was announced at an investment of NIS 530 million, Gindi Holdings today opened the culinary market in Tel Aviv's Sarona district, the former German Templer settlement. The indoor market contains 89 businesses, including restaurants; bakeries; and stands for sweets, spices, fruits and vegetables, wine, cheese, fish, etc. 70% of the businesses are retail stores offering food ingredients, utensils, equipment, etc., while 30% consists of restaurants and food stands.

The 8,700-sq.m. market will commence with a running-in period, during which the businesses will be opened gradually. French delicatessen Fauchon will be opened today in the first wave, together with cheese stand Basher Fromagerie, the Halva Kingdom, a new concept store of Eden Springs and Lavazza, various bakeries, and farmers stands with fresh fruits and vegetables.

"The supply and variety of the stores on the site were chosen in order to ensure competition in quality and price, with many options available to the customer in each category of products," said Sarona Market CEO Sharon Moman. "We brought in three or four players in each area, because we believe that competition is healthy for both consumers and businesses."

"Globes": What is the rent in the market?

Moman: "We charge definitely fair and reasonable rent of NIS 300-400 per sq.m. for large businesses. Stands and small businesses pay according to their size and location on the site. These rents enable them to offer attractive prices."

The business owners on the site said that the rent was certainly fair, but the leases were not long-term (1.5-2 years), so there is anxiety that the rents will soar. It was also noted that none of the businesses had received exclusivity in its area.

The agents fees paid by farmers in the marketing chain is a matter of concern to both the farmers and the consumers. Do the stands in Sarona Market operate through direct sales?

"Certainly. The farmers sell their produce directly, including organic produce, from the field to the consumer, without middleman differences."

 

What is your policy on opening business on Saturday?

"We operate according to municipal bylaws, which do not allow opening businesses on Saturday, except for restaurants and cafes operating in the market whose license allows them to do so. Other retail businesses will, of course, have to wait for a decision by the High Court of Justice in the matter, with no connection to us."

According to Moman, Sarona Market expects traffic of 10,000-15,000 buyers during the week and 25,000 on weekends. "The composition of buyers includes soldiers from the Kirya military base coming for a bit of humus and families who come to buy products and raw materials for cooking at home."

The My Sarona Market buyers club incorporating dozens of the businesses in the compound was also launched today. It enables the public to accumulate 5% of each purchase in the market for use in future buying. Registering for the club costs NIS 89 annually, and a card with NIS 100 loaded on it will be granted to those joining the club.

Are you worried about the effect of work on the light rail?

"Access from one direction will not be possible, but we still have three streets from which you can come to the market." The nearby Azrieli (Hashalom) railway station will make it possible to reach Sarona Market without getting caught in traffic jams.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on July 28, 2015