It seems to happen every year: Christmas shoppers in Norway broke new spending records again during the run-up to the holidays and also set a new record for use of their debit- and credit cards. This year the amounts involved were enormous.
There are only around 5 million people living in Norway, but on the Friday before Christmas (December 21) there were a grand total of 7.3 million card transactions registered by the banks’ central payment system (Nets).
The card use amounted to NOK 3.46 billion (around USD 60 million), indicating that lots of Norwegians found lots of expensive gifts under their Christmas trees.
Stein-Arne Tjore of Nets told news bureau NTB that Norwegians spent NOK 1 billion during the space of three hours on Friday afternoon. Fridays are always big shopping days, before the weekend, and the Friday before Christmas is especially busy for retailers. Tjore said, though, that Friday December 21, 2012 broke all records and was well above the average of 5 million card transactions that’s “normal” for a Friday.
He said that from December 1 to December 21, Norwegian bank and credit cards were used 107.2 million times on goods and services that amounted to a total of NOK 42.95 billion. Retailers were also braced for a busy after-Christmas shopping season.