Thursday, February 23, 2017

Sarona Market: Struggling to Survive

Red Band, a rock puppet act, at Sarona Market Tuesday night show / © 2017 D-A Vider
It may seem a bit strange: a high end boutique shops and cafes, at the edge of Tel Aviv, with half a dozen hot chefs's promotion, struggling to survive? The newest dining and shopping center in Tel Aviv is not getting the foot traffic, it is situated at the edge of Tel Aviv's commercial center. It competes with and established shopping at Azrieli. The shops and restaurants are at the high end of the shopping scale. These are the challenges facing a new shopping center. The opportunity to build and establish an up market shopping center in a great open location in Tel Aviv is also interesting.
Yet Sarona has not been able to attract enough customers. Some smaller shops already closed. Some are clearly struggling. The Market itself is just now attracting shoppers with free performances and reduced price offers. That may not be enough. The shopping and dining area, outside the "Market", has tried with free concerts and events during the summer. Yet the shops are still empty and have not changed their boutique high ticket item strategy.

Is Tel Aviv Overdoing It?

We see more expensive shops, restaurants and boutique hotels. There is a sense of Israel getting richer and growth of the upper class. Some see this as a positive trend. Essentially if there is an upper class, the state is getting richer. But from different perspectives (seen by a few different classes) this is not a positive trend. The Israeli middle and lower classes are not feeling the increase in economic growth. Some say the elderly and poor are actually in a worst position ever. This discussion is not going to be resolved with a blog post. Yet Israeli businesses are clearly eager to grow and push the upper edge in lifestyle. Let me know what you think and how you see things. Thanks for reading.

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