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Norwegian shop owner to double prices on Black Friday

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Norwegian shop owner to double prices on Black Friday
Photo: Jon Olav Nesvold / NTB scanpix
14:36 CET+01:00
The owner of a Norwegian online shop has promised to double his prices on Black Friday in protest at what he called ‘irresponsible’ conduct by retailers.

Student Torbjørn Selseng runs online store Bjøddn, which sells knitted headbands, in his spare time.

“It is probably bad business, but I hope I can make a point,” Selseng told NRK.

“I think it is obvious that if we are to make it through the next century then we must make some changes, especially in the richest parts of the world and especially with regard to consumerism,” he said.

A trend started in the United States, Black Friday is held the day after Thanksgiving. The spending frenzy earned its name as the point in the year when retailers begin to operate at a profit (“in the black” as opposed to “in the red”). 

Black Friday has quickly become Norway's most important shopping day. 

Transactions during the retail event last year were 6.1 percent higher than on Black Friday 2015, and the total 3.3 billion kroner (€363m) spent in 2016 was 5.7 percent higher than the previous year.

Though his business is doing well in the lead-up to Christmas, Selseng said he would not be taking part in the Black Friday discount event.

“Black Friday encourages consumerism that is not sustainable, so retailers must take responsibility and ensure people don’t buy things they don’t need. Black Friday is a shirking of responsibility,” he told NRK.

Norwegians are expected to spend up to 3.4 billion kroner during this year’s Black Friday, according to figures from the Enterprise Federation of Norway (VIRKE).

But Selseng is not alone in eschewing the consumer frenzy.

Earlier this month, furniture giant Ikea announced it would not be reducing prices in conjunction with the event.

“We have participated in Black Friday before and think it has gone a bit off the rails,” Ikea Norway’s head of sustainability Anders Lennartsen told E24.

READ ALSO: This is how big Black Friday has become in Norway

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