By COLlive reporter
An already growing chain of grocery stores in Brooklyn will be expanding even more this week, with the possible purchase of another supermarket.
COLlive has learned that Itzik Benabou, an Israeli-born grocery entrepreneur in Crown Heights, has signed a contract to buy The Shuk Inc. at 589 E New York Ave.
The Shuk is a discount grocery store that resembles a warehouse, compared to Kahan’s Superette or the Benabou-owned Kol Tuv on Kingston Ave. and Empire Kosher on Empire Blvd.
“The Shuk is being sold for less than a million,” a source involved in the sale told COLlive.
The source added that Benabou will be making few changes to The Shuk.
“Some like this kind of large and convenient store. Most things will remain the way they are today, so he can buy for cheap and sell for cheap.”
Benabou, a regular advertiser on COLlive, confirmed the sale but refused to elaborate on the matter. “All I can say is that we are in negotiations to purchase the store,” he said.
Shloime Ifergan, owner of Shuk Inc., did not return a phone call for comment. The store manager, Shay, confirmed to COLlive: “Shlomi is selling.”
“THE ITZIK EMPIRE”
When it comes to grocery competition in the neighborhood, home to a large Chabad-Lubavitch community, a rumored quote is attributed to the Rebbe that ‘there is enough livelihood for everybody.’
When Benabou opened Empire Kosher in 2008, local entertainer Mendy Pellin said “Walmart hits Crown Heights in the form of Empire Kosher.”
Pellin said “The Itzik Battle” is likely to affect Albany Bakery, Owen’s Bakery, Mr. Greens, Sushi stores, the Kolel Store in Boro Park and “the guy that sells sandwiches outside 770.”
“How will (small store owners) stand up to the giant colorful shopping cart? Is there more to Itzik’s red-head lieutenant than meets the eye? The Itzik Empire is on everyone’s radar now,” Pellin concluded.