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Denmark gets its first 'free' supermarket

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Denmark gets its first 'free' supermarket
"Hmm, which of these would look best on Instagram?" Photo: Colourbox
12:05 CEST+02:00
Copenhagen area shoppers can trade reviews for food at the Freemarket. The concept's founder tells The Local that it's about making the shopping experience "more fun and alive".
If you’re willing to snap a photo of your bag of crisps and post it to Instagram, then you can have it for free. 
 
That’s the gist of a new concept opening in Frederiksberg on Saturday. The Freemarket will allow registered customers to claim up to ten free products per month in exchange for reviewing them online via social media or a customer survey. 
 
It’s a concept known as ‘tryvertising’, and the Freemarket’s founder and creative director Simon Taylor tells The Local that it’s all about making positive connections between a customer and a brand. 
 
“If you are a customer with us, you make a profile and give us a lot of information about yourself. Then brands can put products on our website that can be targeted towards a particular segment. The brand gives goods away to the consumer and then the consumer gives some feedback, whether that is in the form of a survey, an Instagram post or whatever the brand wants.”
 
Freemarket has existed online for a year, but its first physical store will open on Saturday. Taylor said that customers shouldn’t expect a traditional supermarket experience.
 
“You can’t just go to the shop in Frederiksberg and take whatever you want and leave. Every order has to be made online, so we are still very much an online concept, just with a physical pick-up spot in Frederiksberg.”
 
Taylor said the Freemarket would have 40-50 products on the shelf each month that are a mix between established products and new releases. The idea is to get customers to try products and give feedback before buying them for real in a traditional supermarket. 
 
“We’re taking advertising and marketing and making it more fun and alive,” he says. 
 
The Freemarket charges its members 19 kroner ($3.40) per month to cover its costs. Some 15,000 people have already signed up, and Taylor said an additional 5,000 have contacted Freemarket within the past three days. He expects a big turnout on Saturday but says that is just the beginning.
 
“Denmark is our test market, but we plan to open in Sweden and Finland in 2015 and in England by the outset of 2016,” Taylor says. 
 
He adds that the Danish market presents a challenge. 
 
“It’s difficult to have this concept in Denmark because brands are very conservative. It’s hard to explain new ideas because most companies just do what they’ve done for the past 20 years,” Taylor says. 
 
The Freemarket will begin accepting new customers when the Frederiksberg shop opens on Saturday. At that time, customers will be able to register at the company’s website.  
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