While Wall Street wallows, the sukka biz is steady
In this time of economic distress there are a few industries whose sales remain steady despite talk of recession. Cosmetics, for one, as people perpetually desire to look good, and health care, as people continue to get sick.
“This year, we’re probably close to 2,000 sales, just in the Brooklyn area alone,” said Yisroel Rubenstein, sales manager of Sukkah Depot, the largest sukka distributor in the world, with locations throughout the United States and Canada, and a flourishing online business. “Every year, our sales go up.”
Rubenstein said Sukkah Depot began its sales in the United States 11 years ago, working out of the back of a truck. It now has more than 25 branches in the New York area, and distributors from Seattle to Miami.
Although Sukkah Depot carries many different models of sukkas, Rubenstein says its best seller is the fabric Royal Ease Lock, which takes only about 25 minutes to assemble.
“That’s what people are looking for these days,” Rubenstein said. “Everyone wants the easy way.”
People’s desire for simplicity is apparent in the number of sukka sellers marketing their wares based on ease of assembly.
Ron Sieger, owner of The Sieger Sukkah that operates out of Los Angeles, says that his business has remained steady over the past 14 years, selling about 200 “Sieger Sukkahs” annually to Jews throughout the country. The Sieger Sukkah, designed by Sieger himself, requires no tools to assemble, and is easy to dismantle.
Likewise, Sukkahonline.com boasts a portable sukkah, measuring just 40 inches by 40 inches by 80 inches, and which takes only five minutes to install, with no tools needed. Also touted by Sukkahonline.com is the “pop-up” sukkah, which folds to one inch flat for easy storage.
People tend to replace their sukkas about every 10 years, said Rubenstein, when they desire a new look, or “just something fresh.”
Although Sukkah Depot has many returning customers choosing to replace their sukkas with a new one from the same manufacturer, there is an abundance of sukka dealers from which to choose, and a wide variety of styles available.
There are paneled sukkas, plastic sukkas, sukkas made of nets. There are large sukka, tiny sukkas, even modular sukkas that can grow along with your family.
Finally, if it’s a sukka that looks like the Kotel you seek, you need look no further than Designer Sukkahs, which features that very look in a fabric model. Designer Sukkahs also offers two additional designs: a colorful “rich embroidery” style, and another called “The Classic,” appealing to those desiring “formal elegance.”
(Toby Tabachnick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)