Black Friday in Denmark: The new Halloween?

The Local Denmark
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Black Friday in Denmark: The new Halloween?
Danish newspapers advertise Black Friday sales. Photo: The Local

The growth of the American shopping 'holiday' Black Friday is expected to reach new levels in Denmark this year.


In recent years, it has become the norm to see children (or even adults) dressed as wizards, vampires or superheroes in the last week of October in Denmark as Halloween becomes bigger and bigger.

Now, the rush to the stores to take advantage of Black Friday, the super sales event that marks the beginning of the Christmas consumer season, is set to become an equally established transatlantic part of the Danish calendar.

Traditionally the day after Thanksgiving in the United States, Black Friday earned its name as the day that allowed retailers to operate at a profit (“in the black”, as opposed to “in the red”). Such an opportunity appears to have been a tempting one for Danish businesses, who have managed to grow the tradition in just a few short years.

See also: American expats adapt to Thanksgiving in Denmark

According to the consumer price comparison website PriceRunner, the Black Friday phenomenon first came to Denmark in 2010 and had its real breakthrough in 2013.

A study by the Danish Chamber of Commerce (Dansk Ehrverv) found that two out of three Danish stores will offer customers deep discounts on Friday, November 27th. This is set to result in a record number of debit card (Dankort) transactions – last year’s Black Friday saw 1.5 billion kroner ($213 million) worth of sales, making the all-time top ten for single-day transactions.

“Black Friday has exploded in recent years. We have a clear expectation that it will be an even bigger day than last year, and that when the shops open on Friday, Danes will be ready and waiting,” Martin P. Barfoed of the Danish Chamber of Commerce said in a press release. “After all, everyone likes a bargain.”

The study by the Chamber of Commerce showed that over half of all Danes are now aware of Black Friday. More than one in five of all Danes under 30 expects to do some of their Christmas shopping on the day, as stores across the country will extend their opening hours, often from 6am until midnight.

Despite the many treats on offer, however, economists have warned consumers against getting carried away.

“We tend to go charging in whenever there’s a special offer or sale,” consumer economist Ann Lehmann Erichsen told broadcaster DR. “There’s no doubt that we buy more when prices are reduced. Our analysis shows that both men and women end up buying goods because they are on sale – even when they are not needed.”


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