The Janglo Man
Residents of Jerusalem’s Katamon and German Colony neighborhoods are fearful that two well-known business branches on HaPalmach street may soon close their doors.
Many believe that the Coop Shop grocery store will close its doors at the end of the year. At the end of November, it was reported that the store’s parent company, Coop Israel, is on the verge of financial collapse, and is working with courts to restructure its debts and keep its 192 branches open.
A visit to the supermarket this morning showed that, while operations continue as normal, many shelves are bare and not being restocked. Even the store’s employees seem not to know what is happening, as one told us the store is closing while another believed it will stay open.
if Coop Shop would close, it would be a tremendous hit to the neighborhood. In recent years, the store has changed ownership several times, and was previously branded as Mister Zol, and as Coop before that. Crowded and expensive, the store nonetheless is the neighborhood’s main grocery store, as well as an important social nexus for local residents.
At the same time, the Bank Hapoalim branch a few doors down is also making changes. In the last month, the branch notified its business customers that it will be moving their accounts to other nearby branches in January as it closes that unit. A Bank Hapoalim teller told us there is no word whether the same thing will happen to the bank’s personal banking clients in the future. However, it has been reported that Israel’s largest bank has plans to close down dozens of branches around the country as part of a streamlining plan, so that seems likely.
This article was first posted on Janglo, Jerusalem’s largest online community for English speakers.