Friday, September 22, 2006

YNet: Shopping, thank G-d: Synagogue opens at IKEA

The purpose of the move: To attract more consumers from the religious haredi sector. A few months ago, IKEA restaurant was turned Kosher
Orna Yefet

IKEA is continuing its assault on the religious sector in Israel. In the next few days, the company is planning to open a synagogue inside their furniture store in Netanya. The purpose: To attract more shoppers from the religious sector. The company's management said in reaction that IKEA has many religious employees as well as visitors, and it was built to give an answer to their needs.

This move is added to another move that the company has recently done for the religious sector. Nine months ago, the restaurant within the store was the first of their restaurants worldwide to receive a kosher stamp. In addition, a busing service was initiated between the religious city of Bnei Brak to the store in Netanya.

The religious link of the store is owner Matthew Bronfman's partner Shalom Fisher. When the Bronfman family acquired IKEA, they announced they will also cater to the religious crowd.

IKEA-Israel is one of the most profitable stores in the country. During the first half of 2006, sales at IKEA's store have totaled NIS 193 million (USD 45 million), an increase of 8.4 percent compared to 2005. The number of visitors to the store during that time totaled more than a million people.

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