Who am I: A man of action, loves people, determined and interested in many areas.
Roots: Dad’s family from Bukhara. His parents fled the terror of the Russian Tsar who annexed her to him, set out on foot for Iran, and remained there for ten years, until they arrived in the country with their father, in the early 1940s. They were thrown into a tent in the Shapira neighborhood of Tel Aviv, and they made a living from selling Sabers. Then they started selling bread and cakes, and slowly they developed.
Mom’s family is from Libya. With the establishment of the state, they came to Israel, and settled in Beer Yaakov. Their financial situation was difficult, and mother worked in Tel Aviv from a young age to help earn a living. There she met Dad, and at the age of 17 she married him. The parents moved to Holon. Dad worked for a short time in diamond polishing, then opened a wholesale warehouse there to sell cakes and preserves. The customers were mostly kiosks and containers.
My girls: Holon. It was very important for parents to learn, and in high school I learned precise mechanics and material strength, not something that really interested me. We lived life and did not feel we were missing anything. We would go to the sea, watch and ride horses. Because we were children of nature, when I was 17 we moved to the Shiva Guard. Dad moved the business there, and I continued to get in a scooter to study at ORT.
Business has been an integral part of our lives. At the age of 13 my brother and I ambushed, at a time when criminals were damaging his vehicle. If we wanted to hang out, there was no problem, but if you need – you come to load goods, arrange the warehouse, help the driver distribute goods, write invoices.
I learned retail through my feet. Already at the age of 16 I had a 50 cc motorcycle, I made sales to customers, I knew what it was like to keep rehearsals, I kept the customer paying for what he owed and only then did I give him goods, I learned the sales technology. It was a tool to educate us, and Dad used to say it was our school.
Motorcycles and horses: When Dad met Mom he had a BSA, a British motorcycle from the 1940s, and at the age of 10 I even rode it. He is the one who caught up with us in the motorcycle craze. I came with my enduro to extraordinary places: to the red and white Sahara, to impassable places in Kachkar in Turkey, where I was with Danny Kushmero, and also in Morocco and Italy. Kushmero calls riding “Vipassana helmet”, a term I adopted because when you ride for seven hours, you are quietly with yourself inside the helmet.
With horses I started at a very young age. When I was 6, I rode with my brother on the farm, and when I stood behind his horse and hit him in the legs, I snatched a ‘couple’ in front, which threw me 30 meters away and sent me to the hospital. To this day I do not stand behind a horse.
the far East: I enlisted in a paratroop patrol, served as a fighter in the paratroopers’ sabotage unit, spent a lot of time in Lebanon, and after intensive service I was discharged and immediately flew east. For more than two years I was constantly on the move, selling pictures and toys in Japan until my visa expired, then I would go on trips to Korea, Nepal, India, and occasionally pop in to visit Israel. My parents would tell me, “Come on, stay a little longer,” but I had to move. Japan has influenced me greatly aesthetically. A country is very successful in the business aspect, but socially shattered. There is severe violence against women, the population is getting smaller, and I would not be surprised if this nation disappears one day.
Yohannoff: One day I felt like it was, I was tired. I was 23 when I returned to Israel. Dad asked, “What now?”, And I replied, “I’m ready,” and I joined him in the business. Just started the transition between wholesale and retail. The big chains have degenerated. My older brother, who also returned from abroad at the time, and I decided this was our chance. We found a huge property on the streets on 22 dunams, and moved Dad’s warehouse there. We used the sales hall for sales.
Instead of placing the surfaces on top of each other, we placed them on the floor. Customers would take from the pallets and go to the checkouts, and the workers loaded goods from there for wholesale distribution to trucks. We quickly realized that we were very profitable in retail and losing out on wholesale, and it was a shame for us to waste power on it. We bought refrigerators, shelves for vegetables, and reached a turnover of NIS 15 million a month in a 1,500-meter store.
breakthrough: We worked around the clock and at a huge price gap from the big chains. The discount started to break out, and the big ones declared war on us, pushed us into a corner and tried to eliminate us, but it only spurred more to succeed. The Greenberg chain opened a store next to us, on purpose, and after five years they were forced to close it. In 1995, we took his store on the streets and at the Bilu junction, expanded to Ashdod and bought land in Kiryat Ekron. There was no competition at the time, because Victory was in Holon and Rami Levy in Jerusalem.
Family: The business belongs to all the brothers and sisters – Giora, Heli and Sarit. There was a time when we all worked in a company. Dad is the one who decides. Every dispute comes to him, and he resolves and decides – a matter not simple for him. The parents always knew how to maintain the commercial need in front of the family one, and the family went through the process successfully, until we became a public company. Ever since we were little children they have maintained family resilience, love and mutual guarantee. In business there should be capitalists and in the family socialists.
There was a situation where I became CEO, and that was acceptable to everyone. When there is love and paragon, there is no ego and consideration for the divorce. Because there is no need. Even those who do not work for the company are on the board, because we are all shareholders. Who wants to get into work, has to run in a system without ease.I have set up a strong enough managerial backbone that can continue this business long after us.I believe that a public company should not be dependent on me but serve the public.
Orna: My wife, who owns a yoga studio, and less like me talking about it. From her I learned how good yoga is for muscle extension and occasionally I also practice. We have four children and we live in Savyon.
accident: I participated in the “Baja Rally” races around the world and in Israel, even before the motor law passed and they became legal. In March 2019, the international race came to Israel for the first time, and we were the main sponsor and hosted motorcyclists and jeep riders from all over the globe.
I took part in an 800 km race in three days, and because I was punished for speeding in a nature reserve, I was behind schedule. .
With the excellent doctors of Ichilov Prof. Roni Gamzo and Prof. Zvi Lider, who is also a biker, we decided that I would be in a special facility that grabs the head and fixes the back, something terrible and awful. I was four months with this thing. I said, let’s take the time and prepare for the IPO. In a relatively short period of time we concentrated effort and made a respectable and successful offering. I lowered the fixture just before I clicked on the stock market buzzer.
Shufersal’s discounted website: I’m not interested in talking about them. We have a hard cold at a discount. There are areas we are not in like the internet world, which in our perception is not yet in the right place where it should be. This event reveals the truth behind online shopping, and it is not our job to educate consumers. We have an app with a pick-up service, our site has been launched, and we will soon start submitting as well.
Discounts: We have seen the discourse in recent weeks about rising prices. We have always been against price increases, with the understanding that if the consumer’s ability to buy is harmed, probably at Hebi Discount, sales will fall. When the storm started, they did not hear us, and now everyone is saying that the price will not go up.
During the corona food companies enjoyed high revenues, so it is insensitivity to raise prices. I am not interested in talking about others, but I can say that we are a strong, rich and debt-free public company. We decided not to talk, but to do, and to sweep the price by 10% in the entire dairy department, in addition to the promotions and discounts, as well as in the plastic and disposable department, in the cleaning materials and perfumery. It was my decision and not that of the importers and manufacturers.
Competition Authority: That they will continue to do their job faithfully. There are good things they do and less successful things like unnecessary, inefficient and irrational regulation, the cost of which is ultimately passed on to the consumer. There are things you can check and reconsider and move back.
private brand: We have always been in import and commodity, and already 30 years ago we imported oil, but we did not place strategic emphasis on the private label. We recently started selling our brand, but not under the name Yohannoff, but each category in its color and appearance.
Smart strollers: We invented the field with the company “A2Z”, we worked on the project for three years, and we have already done a pilot with us. The company has already been listed on the stock exchange in Canada and has managed to make a profit, and in the coming months we will launch them in branches.
Barcode price marking: The price marking law is draconian and its operating cost is expensive, unbearable and not economical for the consumer and us. Sticking the stickers on the products requires a large workforce that does not exist today, but there is also no enthusiasm for electronic barcodes, although they are a much more logical solution, with a heavy but one-time cost.
Shops within the cities: We have no ban on being in every market, but the urban shops are both expensive and give the same as anywhere else. Living on the “no choice” of the consumer, who has no other solution available – and this is not our way.
Cheap stock: An interesting niche we have entered, and because it is founded on imports from China, the corona is adversely affecting it. We are still not achieving the goals we have set for ourselves, but there is no pressure. it will happen.
Looking to the future: I am less focused on myself and satisfied with what I have. I wish the company to continue to grow and be popular with the public, so that we can do the real things for our customers and develop it.
Source: Maariv.co.il – כלכלה בארץ by www.maariv.co.il.
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