The Jerusalem Post
Upgrading our Distribution Infrastructure Paid Off
“My cousin Tal Halperin and I set up our company in 2003, and later we were joined by the company Carmel Music.
We import premium brands in the barbecue and outdoor kitchen sector, and we are the
Israeli representatives of the Canadian company
Napoleon, which is one of the largest brands in the world for gas grills.
We also import and distribute electric and coal grills, tabun ovens, electric and coal smokers, as well as related accessories including knives, tongs, smart thermometers and the like. We distribute around 3,000 products from more than 20 manufacturers at four points of sale in Haifa, Herzeliyya, Rishon LeZion and Kibbutz Gezer, as well as approximately 400 distribution points around the country. Before COVID-19, we had 35 employees, and even then we could sense that manufacturers around the world were starting to struggle and there were delays in orders. Despite pressure from our accounting department to furlough staff, we actually anticipated a different trend in the sector—that there would be an increase in demand because of the lockdowns. And that was what ended up happening. Demand for our products was remarkable and we saw an 80% increase in our annual turnover, we ended the year with 60 employees. Incidentally, that trend has continued until today. Because we also sell gas tanks, we were classified as a vital business, and our branches were open throughout the whole period. At the same time, we offered free home deliveries to our clients as well as more convenient payment plans, both of which helped us. “In the last year, we upgraded our distribution infrastructure and moved to a state-of-the-art 4,000 m2 logistics center in Kibbutz Gezer. We also expanded our online activity on our website—and sales increased by dozens of percentage points. We are currently struggling with supply chain issues caused by shortages of raw materials and increases in the cost of global shipping. This period has taught me that every crisis is also an opportunity. We faced COVID-19 head-on, managed ourselves properly in terms of marketing and logistics, kept working and developing—and it paid off in the end.”
The writer is the co-owner of Carmel Direct – Premium Home and Garden Products. Kibbutz Gezer Industrial Area. Tel: 072-3946666.