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Monday, July 22, 2024

Shopping ‘important’ during summer holidays

Norway’s top tourist attractions for locals aren’t always the scenery, national landmarks or museums. Many instead head for the nearest shopping center, according to the owners of a few.

The Norwegian Outlet shopping center in Follo, south of Oslo, is being marketed as a local tourist attraction. PHOTO: Norwegian Outlet/Visit Follo

Packed parking lots at IKEA bear witness to the popularity of shopping during Norwegians’ traditionally long summer holidays. Business at many companies slows down considerably, but not at retail outlets.

“Shopping accounts for a large portion of tourists’ consumption,” says Hilde Charlotte Solheim, travel industry director at retailing trade association HSH. Solheim claims that one of three Norwegian women, for example, pay attention to shopping possibilities when they plan their holidays.

Among local shopping centers promoting themselves during the summer is Norwegian Outlet in Follo, one of Norway’s first so-called “outlet villages” like those in Europe and the US. With 35 “brand-name” stores offering discounts on last season’s products, samples or over-production, tourism officials in Follo, south of Oslo, are marketing the relatively new shopping center as a local tourist attraction.

Other largely retail-oriented attractions like Hadeland Glasverk in Jevnaker also have been reporting brisk business, while many Norwegians still take time during their holidays to make a trip over the border to Sweden, where prices can be roughly 40 percent lower than Norwegian prices on a wide variety of goods.

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