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Mishvir turns 75: The Mishvir chain celebrates a historic birthday - voila! Of money


There are very few businesses in Israel that get to mark the middle of their eighth decade of activity. One of them is Mashvir, the old department store. We met with the old workers to hear memories

Mishbir 365. The network is already 75 years old (Photo: Yehats)

About 65 years ago, Deborah Itzhaki started working in Mashbir for the consumer.

"I remember the exact date," says Yitzhaki, 81, who currently serves as chairman of the Mashbir board of directors. "It was September 7, 1958. I was then a 16-and-a-half-year-old girl.

I started as the secretary of the late Raphael Marinov, the founder of the chain. I was his secretary for many, many years. I loved him very much, he was a special person. I lived in Tel Aviv at the time, working in the morning, studying externship in the evening. When I brought my matriculation certificate to work, Marinov said that I had to do Banquet. I was then working at the company's headquarters, located at 58 Selma Street. The person who worked with me at the time as an accountant was the late great spy Eli Cohen.

We were good friends."

The first branch of the Mashbir in Jerusalem, 1947 (photo: the Mashbir archive)

"Nude dresser"

Last Saturday night, "Hamashbir" celebrated with a festive party 75 years since the establishment of the chain, which began its journey in September 1947 with the opening of Hamashbir to the consumer, which was the first all-in-one retail store established even before the establishment of the state and united the consumer associations in the cities and colonies.

The first branch was opened on Jaffa Street in Jerusalem, spread over 250 meters, ten employees worked there who sold footwear, clothing, Sadakit products, khaki details and crepe shoes.

During the days of the siege in Jerusalem, the Mishbir delivered food and clothing to the residents of besieged Jerusalem.

The second all-in-one was opened in Jaffa, precisely due to the fact that at that time there were many new immigrants and a weak population.

In the winter of 1949-1950, the Mashbir conducted a "dressing the naked" operation, in light of the request of Golda Meir, then Minister of Labor, who during her visit to the crossings was horrified by the condition of the immigrants and children and asked for Marinov's help in distributing shoes and coats.

In the late 1950s, early 1960s, Pinchas Sapir, the Minister of Commerce and Industry at the time, turned to Marinov and asked for his help for the city of Eilat, which needed development and employment.

Marinov agreed to the request and opened a department store in the city.

In the early 2000s, the chain's financial results began to deteriorate, its debts piled up and it was forced to resort to liquidation and sale procedures, during which hundreds of employees were fired and branches were closed.

In 2003 the Mashvir was purchased by Rami Shavit and a group of investors.

Today the chain has 36 department stores nationwide, over 2,000 employees, and sells more than 200 brands.

To the e-commerce website chain, THREE SIXTY FIVE, and 600 thousand club members in Club 365.

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Deborah Itzhaki, chairman of the board of directors. She started working in the network 65 years ago (photo: Private)

A package from Ben Gurion

As mentioned, quite a few interesting stories are intertwined in the history of the network.

"I remember that at the beginning of my journey in Mashbir there was a branch of All-Bo at 4 Boustros St., in Jaffa. From there we sent packages to the former Soviet Union in the most discreet way," says Itzhaki, who over the years became the owner of the men's department, the manager of the customer service department, and as of May 2009 serves as chairman The Board of Directors.

"At the time, the Jews of the Soviet Union lived beyond the Iron Curtain, we called them the 'Jews of Silence.'

They were not allowed to speak, there were blood plots, there were prisoners of Zion.

With the help of Ben-Gurion's office, all discreetly of course, we sent them aid packages that included sweaters, scarves, shoes and other things.

I remember that one day I was sitting in the office of the founder of the chain, and suddenly a man with a beard came up to me.

I was barely 17 years old, I thought it was Elijah the prophet.

He said: 'Debora, I came on the wrong way to say thank you to Marinov for the shipments to the Jews of the Soviet Union.'"

What other stories do you remember?

"In the branch that was at 100 Allenby Street, we closed the department store one evening without knowing that a thief was inside. The next day we opened the place, the thief climbed with a rope through one of the windows and ran away. Also, when I was managing the customer service department, one day a man called and said: '

I I want compensation, I bought a wooden box for bread from you, mice came, ate the box and the bread.'

I mean, is the customer always right?

"Just like that, I always generously gave compensation in order to bring the customer back. I was often told that 'I'm returning to be a customer, just because you're nice.'"

You are also considered the oldest employee in the network.

"I retired, but I continued with Rami Shavit, and I'm happy. Work gives life to a person. There are many of us who have retired and continue to work. For me, the supervisor and the employees are family. It's a very interesting network, it has everything from everything. That's also why I lasted every This has been the case for many years. Every day there is content, challenges, interest, collections, meetings, what not."

Yitzhaki adds: "The Mashbir is one of the symbols of the State of Israel. In the past, all the children grew up on the Mashbir. They knew: you need clothes, you go to the Mashbir. People liked to come to us, it was both a place for shopping and a place to meet and hang out. From the outskirts, they would come to Allenby 100 in Tel Aviv." .

How would you describe the difference between then and now?

"Today, first of all, there is enormous competition, which transcends all good taste. The Internet is coming in, and young people love the Internet. We were also hurt by this, because if they used to come to us, today they turn to the Internet. Competition is positive for the economy in general, on the other hand, as much as we have A certain harm. But now we are introducing brands to attract the young people as well. We are doing our best. In the end, Rami Shavit supports thousands of families in Israel and this is Zionism for its own sake."

Judith ben Tulaila.

It has been online for 30 years (photo: Private)

Loyal to the network

Judith Ben Tolila, 65, has been working in the network for 30 years.

She started as the head cashier at the branch in the Horev center in Haifa, and is currently the manager of the fashion accessories department (suitcases and bags) at the Mishbir branch in the Grand Canyon in Haifa.

"The branch in Horev center was a cute family branch," she recalls.

"It was a small branch, one floor, with customers of a high socioeconomic status. It was just fun to work there, there were very high-quality customers and a very nice atmosphere. After that I moved to the Grand Canyon branch, where I was also the chairman of the branch's employees' committee.

I remember that at the time when the Mashvir was in liquidation proceedings we would go every day to court hearings, to see the hearings with Rami Shavit.

Rami acquired his heart thanks to his broad hand and his kindness."

Being well-known is not an easy job.

"Being well-known means convincing customers to buy things, sometimes expensive, sometimes cheap. There are also difficult customers who can come after a year and ask for a refund because the product was damaged after use, even though it is no longer under warranty. They tell me: 'In America you can return even after six months '. I answer: 'We are in Israel, not in America.'"

What keeps you in one place for so many years?

"I'm not a woman of changes. I do the job faithfully and remain faithful to the network. Besides, I really like the work, the relationship with the customers. I also like the periods when all the employees concentrate together and work at night on stock counts. It's a tremendous experience, It unites the employees. We work with pleasure, with fun. We always want to reach the goal, not for the bonus, but because it makes us feel good."

Galit Falah, Vice President of Fashion Trade (Photo: Liorit Vahva Storkovich)

"Hamshevir is a company that is very supportive of its employees in terms of advancement horizons and there are many employees who grew up here. For me, it's a family," says

Galit Falah, VP of fashion trade,

who has been with the chain for 21 years. .

There is almost no one who does not know what the mashvir is, not necessarily everyone frequents the mashvir.

Therefore, the goal is to expose the mix to a variety of customers, not necessarily to an older or younger crowd.

It's not about age here, but an audience that matches Mashvir's strategy.

We appeal to a quality audience, offer quality goods, a high level of customer service and also sell a wide variety of products, including international brands."

How do you still attract a young audience that did not grow up on the Mishbir?

"Through more digital activity, influencers, social networks. We have strengthened this in recent years. Also, it is also to bring in desirable and leading brands. For example, ETAM, a French lingerie brand that in recent years has been caught in the world and appeals to a younger target audience, or a brand like Kenneth Cole , which is also gaining momentum in the world. There is also Michael Kors. Very soon a collection for businessmen (men) of the brand will be introduced.

We are constantly on the move, constantly innovating, this alongside all the brands we have been working with for years, including Levi's, Lee-Wrangler, Delta, Femina, Triumph, Samsonite and more. When Rami arrived, he adjusted the mix in order to give the most accurate answer to the customer."

Rami Shavit, the controlling owner and CEO of the Mashbir 365 Group (Photo: Private)

distill the floor

"After 20 years of experience in the field of industry, I was the owner and CEO of Shreyonit Chosem (Steel Doors).

We also advised many countries abroad. Along the way I realized that traveling was my future, and in fact I made a decision to make a change when I was about 40 years old and purchase the Mashbir," says Rami Shavit, the controlling

owner and CEO of the Mashbir 365 Group

. "At the time I purchased the chain Operated for 55 years.

We had to do a long rehabilitation process.

After three years of rehabilitation, we managed to balance and in 2007 issue the company."

Over the years, Shavit describes, "we constantly refined the sales floor.

As of today, we have over 200 international brands and some of them are Israeli, such as Chanel, Estee Lauder and Nekom alongside brands such as Bigir, Emporio and more."

What are the main challenges now?

"The main challenge is to maneuver between different events that we are experiencing in the country, such as the security problems that we have been suffering from over the years, terrorist attacks, and the like. The second area is economic, the issue of the increase in the index and the issue of interest, an increase in the cost of living, which creates a situation where people have less money to purchase leisure products and products in general. Also, we are dealing with the international websites that have a relative advantage in that they are VAT-free, a benefit that I hope will change very soon.

We try and do everything to make sure that we offer the same products that are sold on the online sites and work so that our product reaches the customer before the sites and is sold at a price no less attractive than on the international sites."

What innovations are planned in the near future?

"Mainly this is the international brand Kenneth Cole for which we received the exclusive import license in Israel and abroad.

At the moment it exists with us in seven categories and by the end of the year it will be in 10 categories.

We also make various adjustments of this brand to the local market in terms of the collections, the variety, the weather and the price."

Shavit concludes: "The Mishbir for the consumer is the only chain of department stores in Israel, which as of today has been operating for 75 years.

We employ thousands of employees, work with hundreds of suppliers, so this is a challenging business.

I have a very big responsibility to manage such an important and significant brand, a Zionist and historical brand that arose with the establishment of the state."

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  • Hamashbir

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Source: walla

All business articles on 2023-03-18

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