Strong Danish krone boosts Swedish businesses

The Danish krone continues to get stronger and that it’s good news for Danish bargain hunters and Swedish shop owners.

Strong Danish krone boosts Swedish businesses
Danish bargain hunters Jørgen and Birte Jensen came from Bornholm to Malmö to do some major shopping. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
“There’s money to be saved here. This is a few thousand kroner more expensive in Denmark,” Danish shopper Jørgen Jensen said of the new front door he had just purchased at the Svågertorp shopping mall outside of Malmö.
He and his wife, Birte Jensen, live on the Danish island of Bornholm and their Swedish shopping spree had just begun. 
“Now we’re headed to Ikea to do some shopping for our summer house,” Birte Jensen said. 
The Danish krone on the rise
Many Skåne merchants happily recall the Danish shopping spree of 2009 when the Danish krone was at 1.50 to the Swedish krona. That exchange rate hasn’t quite been reached yet but the Danish currency is very strong once again. At the outset of the year, 100 Danish kroner corresponded to 132 Swedish kronar. Now the figure is at 138 Swedish kronar. In other words, shopping is even cheaper for Danes who cross the bridge. 
And that they are doing. Peter Nilsson, the store manager of Synsam at the Emporia shopping mall in Malmö, said sunglasses and contact lenses are flying off the shelves and into Danish hands. 
“On the weekends and Danish holidays, we have an invasion of Danish shoppers over here,” he said. 
Pia Sandin is the managing director of Malmö Citysamverken, which represents some 400 stores and restaurants in the southern Swedish city. She said business is booming thanks to Danish customers.
“It has gradually increased over the past six months. It really took off over Easter,” she said. 
The Danes buy everything, from candy to home decor to well-known brands, sandals and sunglasses. According to Pia Sandin, many are also interested in getting work done at a Swedish dentist. 
Ystad on the southern coast of Skåne is also experiencing an influx of Danish shoppers as more and more Bornholm residents are making the trek in search of bargains, local newspaper Ystads Allehanda reported. 
Further north, Helsingborg is also seeing more Danish visitors ready to spend money, Helsingborg City Samverkan CEO Hanna Candell told TT. 
“On Maundy Thursday [skærtorsdag/skärtorsdag], which is a holiday in Denmark, there were a lot of Danes inside the shops here. When there are Danish holidays, we have special sales events and decorate our big shopping street in red and white,” Candell said. 
According to a 2016 study conducted by HUI Research on behalf of the Region Skåne, the “tourist financial contribution” to Skåne was estimated at approximately SEK 5.8 billion per year. 


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.” 
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.