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Black Friday likely to smash all Danish spending records

Danish shoppers have fully embraced Black Friday, the super sales event that marks the beginning of the Christmas consumer season.

Black Friday likely to smash all Danish spending records
Danes set a spending record on Black Friday last year and are expected to do so again this year. Photo: Sophia Juliane Lydolph/Scanpix
The trend started in the United States, where Black Friday is held the day after Thanksgiving. The spending frenzy earned its name as the day that allowed retailers to operate at a profit (“in the black”  as opposed to “in the red”). 
 
Despite its American roots, Black Friday has quickly become Denmark's most important shopping day. Danes smashed the Black Friday spending record last year, racking up 1.98 billion kroner worth of purchases.
 
Everything indicates that Danes will spend even bigger this year. In fact, the Confederation of Danish Industry (Dansk Erhverv) predicts that Friday will be the biggest shopping day in the nation's history with spending expected to exceed two billion kroner. 
 
“We can see that awareness of Black Friday among Danes has increased significantly since last year and many more people expect to take advantage of the special offers that day,” political consultant Martin Barfoed said. 
 
According to a Dansk Erhverv survey, eight out of ten Danes are now familiar with the shopping phenomenon. 
 
Dorte Wimmer, a retail sales and consumer expert at Retail Institute Scandinavia, told broadcaster DR that Black Friday “has come to stay. This will not at all go away.”
 
“Even though we see that there are sales year-round, Black Friday is the trump card that trumps all other red-letter days. It is the king,” she said. 
 
Danes' interest in Black Friday has also quickly caught or surpassed their interest in other commercialized American celebrations. 
 
“Based on how many Danes searches for Black Friday, you can clearly see that there has been a strong increase in interest for the day since 2013. So much so that Black Friday soon will have the same interest as Halloween in Denmark,” Rasmus Sørensen from the online savings portal CupoNation told The Local. 
 
“Black Friday already exceeded the interest for Valentine's Day in Denmark back in 2013,” he added, pointing to his firm's research into Danes' Google search habits. 


Image: CupoNation

Wimmer said there is a good reason that Black Friday has caught on quicker than the others. 
 
“It took us a long time to embrace Valentine's Day and Halloween but Black Friday hits us in the wallet and that's something we like because we're so sensible when we shop and we want to get the good deals,” she told DR.

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SHOPPING

Record retail sales in Denmark after post-lockdown ‘ketchup effect’

Sales of shoes and clothes Denmark leapt by close to 100 percent in May in what the Danish Chamber of Commerce is describing as a post-coronavirus "ketchup effect".

Record retail sales in Denmark after post-lockdown 'ketchup effect'
Danes have been buying shoes like they're going out of fashion (which these Moshi Moshi shoes from 2008 clearly are). Photo: Jan Jørgensen/Ritzau Scanpix
According to Statistics Denmark, retail sales overall rose 9.4 percent in the month after shopping malls were reopened, hitting a new record after the largest month-on-month increase since it first started reporting retail statistics at the start of the year 2000. 
 
“This is of course positive and clearly shows that the Danes have had the courage to increase consumption as the reopening takes place,” said Tore Stramer, chief economist at the chamber, in a press statement
 
“However, it must be borne in mind that there has been a saving in consumption that has been let loose in May. So we are also seeing a ketchup effect in consumption.” 
 
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Denmark's government shut down all shopping malls in the country in mid-March, with most high street shops also closing their doors until the restrictions were relaxed on May 11. 
 
 
The surge in sales will make up for some of the financial hit taken by Danish retailers during the lockdown, indicating that profits for the year might be less affected than feared. 
 
But Stramer warned that higher unemployment and a fall in Danish exports would continue to drag on Denmark's economy over the rest of the year, meaning May's bumper sales were unlikely to continue. 
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