Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Emerging Markets

Dafna Shemer

The Mahne Yehuda market is undergoing a process of change in recent years. Visiting the market one notices changes, but in the havoc of Friday shopping, or the leisure of beer in the evening, you cannot really say whether your gut feeling is right. We returned to Mahne Yehuda after three years, to update the business picture in the market, in order to quantify changes, confirm (or refute) our gut feeling, and -- shop.

One of the main changes that take place on the market is from a place to buy vegetables and fruit, to a place of entertainment. The first Swallow was "Mizrachi", which at first opened as a shop for baking utensils and ingredients, and has developed into a café in the market. In the meantime, Mizrahi café was closed, but many others, cafés and other places of entertainment opened. Among the places of entertainment you can find restaurants, chain stores, pubs and gelaterias. The percentage of entertainment places increased from 8% of the businesses in the market in 2006 to 12% in 2015, and 17% in 2018, making it obvious that the market is changing in the direction of entertainment. The most prominent entertainment area is still the Egoz Street at the corner of the Tut Street, where the number of entertainment venues has also grown. On Etz Haim Street (the covered market) and especially on its corners with other streets, many places of entertainment were also opened. It is interesting to note that many of these new venues did not replace vegetable and fruit stalls, but stalls that have already undergone at least one change in the nature of the stand.

Two areas that remain almost unchanged are the "Georgian Market" and the "Iraqi Market". In both of them there are mainly vegetable and fruit stalls, and both include one entertainment business. Mahne Yehuda Street (the "open market") is also characterized by many fruit and vegetables stalls, with a few entertainment venues, including two chain restaurants at its edge, near Agrippas Street.

The mix of businesses in the covered market attests to a change that is concentrated there, but not limited to it. Many of the entertainment businesses did locate in the covered market – Etz Haim Street and the alleyways stemming from it. The roofing, which gave it its name, may seem touristy and can be enjoyed in the winter, but the reason for the increase in the entertainment business there may be simpler and relate to the ownership structure of the shops. Another possibility is that this trend has not yet exhausted the geographical space of the covered market, and will continue to spread to the rest of the Mahne Yehuda.

Good shopping and pleasant entertainment!

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