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Israeli store in Ramallah by: Avi Shauli, Ynetnews.com
FILED UNDER SOMETHINGISRAELI >> Business

Plaza Mall
Plaza Mall

The Israeli apparel chain H&O have opened their newest children store in an unlikely place: The Plaza shopping mall in Ramallah. The store is being operated by a local agent, and the owner of the mall said that they are planning to open another store for men and women in a few months.

A source among the owners of the mall APSC said that they are planning to increase future business with Israeli companies and they believe that business can be used as a bridge for peace. "The problem starts when people have no money, and then they don't have any education and they turn to violence and extremism," he said. 

The H&O chain began its operations in 1994 under the name "Ha'mashbir Fashion Warehouse" and in 1997 their stock was offered in the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.

H&O operates 29 stores in Israel and their sales share in 2005 stood on NIS 370 million which is 5 percent of the Israeli fashion market. The chain employs 800 workers, 43 of them in administrative positions.

The Plaza mall was opened to the public in 2003 and is the first shopping mall to be opened in the Palestinian Authority and has 25 stores, a large supermarket, fashion stores, restaurants and a local hamburger chain.

The mall is owned by APSC which plans on opening more shopping malls in the PA in the future. APIC, the mother company of APSC is traded in the Ramallah stock exchange and owns 51 percent of the company, and other subsidiaries.
 
Taufik Husseini, the manager of the mall explains that "the mall is a new concept for those who are still used to buying their produce from the open air markets, meat from the butcher, and pitas from the baker."

The mall usually hosts about 5,000 shoppers per day, and during holidays, like the past Eid al-Fiter, the number goes up to 15,000. The owners of the mall promise that stores which will be opened in the future will be larger than the ones currently in use.



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