Denmark’s Christmas present exchange begins, but stores can refuse unwanted gifts

Although it can feel like a national sport in Denmark to exchange presents in the days after Christmas, shops in the country are not actually obliged to accept the return of items.

Denmark’s Christmas present exchange begins, but stores can refuse unwanted gifts
Photo: Stine Tidsvilde/Polfoto/Ritzau

Trading rules do not oblige retailers in Denmark to accept the return of items purchased as gifts.

Physical shops are not bound to either give refunds or exchange items for other goods.

However, the vast majority of shops go along with the practice of returning gifts – an extremely common phenomenon amongst Danes.

“Exchange services are part of competition parameters like other types of service,” head consultant and legal expert Bo Dalsgaard of the Danish Chamber of Commerce told Ritzau.

“If you do not offer to exchange Christmas presents, the customer may go and do their shopping elsewhere if they are unsure about how the gift will be received,” Dalsgaard said.

Most shops in Denmark require a receipt or proof of purchase to be presented in order to exchange items.

The Danish Chamber of Commerce estimates that 350 million kroner (47 million euros) worth of Christmas presents – four percent of the total Christmas shopping in Denmark – will be exchanged in the country this year.

Online stores must abide by different rules to their high street counterparts, with EU standards providing for a 14-day period following delivery in which items can be returned for refund.

Some online stores that also have physical shops may offer in-store return of items, depending on the retailer's own terms and conditions.

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‘Santa Claus can come to Denmark’: Health chief’s Christmas news for kids

The director of the Danish Health Authority (Sundhedsstyrelsen), Søren Brostrøm, has taken to Twitter to reassure the public that Covid-19 restrictions won’t prevent Father Christmas from delivering gifts to Denmark.

'Santa Claus can come to Denmark': Health chief’s Christmas news for kids
Photo: Pexels

Brostrøm, who has become a recognisable figure in the country due to his consistent presence at government Covid-19 briefings, responded on social media after he said he was asked how Danish coronavirus rules would affect Santa Claus.

“A member of the public has written and asked whether I can give Santa an exemption from quarantine rules so he is free to travel to Denmark,” Brostrøm wrote.

“We all know he is busy on Christmas Eve delivering all the presents to the children, so it’s no good if he has to self-isolate for several days,” the health authority director continued.

“As all children (and adults) know, Santa Claus lives in Greenland! And because Greenland is part of the (Danish) kingdom, there are neither entry restrictions nor isolation requirements when he arrives in Denmark,” Brostrøm wrote.

Santa’s chosen means of travel also enables him to avoid Danish requirements to wear a face mask when using public transportation, the health director noted.

“If Santa – as I expect – travels with his own reindeer and sleigh, I would say he is exempted from the face mask requirement which applies on the plane from Greenland,” he wrote.

Should Father Christmas need a negative coronavirus test to be able to get home after delivering his presents, the Danish Health Authority will “help (him) to book an appointment at a test centre,” he concluded.

READ ALSO: Denmark's health chief cuts own hair and sends cash to barber