Urban Outfitters takes in Israel's warmth

Just two weeks into 2011, and three companies are reportedly staying for Shabbat in Israel, And I don’t mean Google.

Chicago based Groupon.com knows that Israelis are good shoppers. They therefore acquired Tel Aviv centric Grouper this week for perhaps $8 million (according to Globes). Grouper will soon be known as Groupon. Groupon president and rocket history buff Rob Solomon, who joined Groupon.com in 2010 from Sidestep and Yahoo Shopping, said that he saw great potential in Israel for social buying. No word on whether j-deals is a target or Jew(cou)pons, Yemama, Baligam or Buy2. (PS – I made up the Jew-pons)

Time for Spring 2011 fashions already

Who else stayed over Shabbos? Philadelphia based retailer, Urban Outfitters, chose Israel for their early Spring 2011 catalog photo shoot. Photographer Marlene Marino escaped the snow of the American northeast and decamped in Tel Aviv. Some of the photos are available for viewing on their facebook page or here on their blog. I personally like the Mitz Pz grapefruit pic.

Mint Tea ride

According to some Israeli news sites, Israel’s New Lineo Cinemas will build an amusement center in Haifa on the bay (at the Check Post exit from the Carmel Tunnel), and include an amusement park about the size of seven American football fields. It is said that DISNEY is a partner in the project. Tablet Mag envisioned some rides, and Haifa Mayor Yona Yahav is excited by the development plans, perhaps more excited than a log flume passenger.

Although it makes for fun blogging to say that “Disney” is coming to Haifa, don’t expect a mad tea party ride, or even a Turkish coffee ride.

Actually, it is Shamrock Holdings, founded by Roy Disney, which owns 25% of New Lineo, that is the investment partner in the project, and not the Walt Disney Company. Or at least that is the public word for now. Seven football fields is quite small for an amusement park, even a micro-park, and only one real Disney park outside of the USA has turned a reasonable profit. But then again, who knows, Maybe the future will see kids with Maus ears rising the cable car to Technion.

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