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The Washington Post reports on the battle for the Jewish food dollar taking place in Chicago, where small and family owned business that have traditionally catered to this clientele are finding themselves in trouble.

“The struggle being played out in north Chicago is part of a larger play for Jewish shoppers -- and the growing ethnic food market – nationwide,” the Post reports. “Large companies including Albertsons, Wal-Mart, Safeway and Costco are seeking competitive advantage in a crowded sales sector by catering to specialty audiences.”

These companies are offering kosher foods for a very good business reason – it is a market that grows 12-15 percent a year.

While the large chains clearly are making some inroads with their efforts, support for the small companies is coming from a number of quarters. The Post notes that there are some kosher food distributors that won’t sell to the big chains, preferring to deal exclusively with retailers with which they have long and traditional relationships. And, a group of influential rabbis banded together to write an open letter to the community in which it argued that Jews should stick together and shop at the smaller stores that have long served the community.
KC's View:
Ultimately, the only determinant of success will be where shoppers shop. It’s that easy.

We would also suggest, as we have in so many other cases, that small retailers have no special rights just because they are small. They have to be better – better at selection, better at service, better at creating a compelling shopping experience that attracts and keeps the customer.