Norwegian merchants could report another record holiday shopping season, even after (or perhaps because of) another year of Corona restrictions. Sales were up 15 percent last year over 2019 and rose at least another 1.5 percent this year, according to the national retail employers organization Virke.
Consumers didn’t seem to let record high electricity bills scare them away from the stores either, especially after the state promised some compensation for the unusually high electricity rates. Unable to spend money at bars and restaurants closed by anti-infection measures, or go traveling earlier in the year, they went shopping instead.
“It’s looking very good,” Ole-Christian Hallerud of shopping center owner Olav Thon Gruppen, told newspaepr Aftenposten. “We’re getting reports that our merchants are very satisfied.” Hallerud thinks total sales may be up as much as 3 percent over last year, “and it was a very good year” for Christmas shopping.
Norwegians also seemed to be donating more than usual to various charitable organizations this Christmas. The communications chief for the Salvation Army, for example, reported “lots of the joy of giving” around its donation kettles in Oslo.