Chinese shopping phenomenon on way to Denmark

An electronics retailer could be set to lead the way for Chinese shopping bonanza Singles' Day to take off in Denmark.

Chinese shopping phenomenon on way to Denmark
A giant screen showing total sales transacted by e-commerce giant Alibaba on the Singles' Day in 2016. Photo: Kin Cheung/AP/Ritzau

Singles’ Day could become as popular as Black Friday for Danish consumers, says electronics retailer Elgiganten.

Denmark, like other countries, has in recent years seen a shift in peak consuming times from January sales-type discount periods to one-day events such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Electronics retailer Elgiganten could now set off the arrival of China’s Singles’ Day in the Scandinavian country by becoming the first Danish store to offer discounts on the November 11th occasion, reports newspaper Jyllands-Posten.

The Singles’ Day festival initially became widespread among young Chinese people as a celebration of the fact that they are proud of being single, with the date, November 11th or 11/11, chosen because the number “1” resembles an individual.

The occasion has since become the largest online shopping day in the world, driven in part by Chinese online retail giant Alibaba.

“As a market leader, it is important for us to listen to what customers want and take part in new trends. In just five years, Black Friday has gone from being a completely new and unknown phenomenon to the biggest trading day in Denmark. We believe that Singles’ day can be just as big,” Elgiganten CEO Peder Stedal said in a press statement.

According to figures published by Forbes magazine, 17.8 billion dollars were spent by Chinese people through Alibaba alone on last year’s Singles’ Day.

“We want to continue being Danes’ first choice for buying domestic appliances and home electronics, so we follow market trends globally, not just in Denmark. Singles’ Day marks the start of the most intense period of the year, with both Black Friday and Christmas shopping just around the corner. The products we sell are incredibly important for people today, so we expected to be extremely busy,” Stedal said.

READ ALSO: Danes made Black Friday the biggest shopping day ever 


Danish Black Friday sales fall short of record

Total takings on consumer day Black Friday in Denmark this year reached 1.94 billion kroner (260 million euros).

Danish Black Friday sales fall short of record
File photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Scanpix 2017

That is a reduction of eight percent relative to sales in 2017, according to payment service provider Nets, which operates Denmark’s Dankort debit card system.

“This is probably a reflection of the fact that many stores this year decided to spread their offers across several days,” Nets Denmark director Jeppe Juhl-Andersen in a press statement.

In 2017, sales reached a record 2.12 billion kroner (284 million euros). Although that total was not surpassed this year, Friday November 23rd is nevertheless set to be the biggest consumer day of 2018.

“In the past it was always on one of the days leading up to Christmas that we used our Dankort the most during the year, but Black Friday has changed the landscape,” Juhl-Andersen said.

“We have to go back to 2014 to find a year where in which Black Friday was not the biggest day for consumer sales,” the Nets director added.

The vast majority of purchases were made in physical stores, although the proportion spent in online stores is increasing.

17 percent of Black Friday 2018 purchases were made using a computer, tablet or smartphone, compared to 14 percent in 2017.

Around one in three purchases was a Christmas present, a sign that Christmas shopping is now established in November, according to the Danish Chamber of Commerce (Dansk Erhverv).

“Black Friday is a strong concept that appeals to the inner bargain hunter in many Danes. Many Danes use Black Friday to get ahead with their Christmas shopping,” the organisation’s political consultant Tine Marie Andersen said in a press statement.

This year’s edition of Black Friday was the fifth-largest sales day of all time in Denmark.