It was just two years ago that a group of Israeli investors toured Jewish neighborhoods with the thought of opening a chain of kosher superstores. Industry sources say that their plan was to open the stores in cities throughout the country, not necessarily in neighborhoods with a heavy concentration of Orthodox Jews. The emergence of the superstores in such neighborhoods as Monsey, Flatbush, and Williamsburg has largely been a success as younger kosher shoppers covet the stores with their vast array of kosher products that are not necessarily available in either small kosher mom and pops or supermarkets that cater to kosher consumers. The Israelis had hoped to create a more upscale experience, much the way Rockland Kosher, Gourmet Glatt and Pomegranate offer, but they noticed that US supermarkets were rapidly trying to create some of the same experiences in their stores. Yakov Yarmove of SuperValu who is responsible for a number of higher end kosher stores said that the flagship Jewel-Osco store in Evanston ILL was currently undergoing renovations. Chains like ShopRite, Winn-Dixie and Publix have also stepped up their kosher offerings. This despite, an overall decline in sales by many leading supermarkets.Industry sources say that any expansion of the kosher superstores would also have to factor in the new aggressive merchandising by the Club stores who are increasingly attracting kosher shoppers with discounted pricing and private label kosher brands. One distributor who is familiar with the planned Israeli initiative said: “They recognized that they would have a major battle on their hands not only from the supermarkets but also from the discount chains.” He said that after being in the business for over 30 years, he watched the landscape change from the competition between supermarkets and small kosher stores to kosher superstores with supermarkets and both with the discount chains.