Norwegian shop owner to double prices on Black Friday

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.

Norwegian shop owner to double prices on Black Friday
Photo: Jon Olav Nesvold / NTB scanpix

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


Black Friday saw highest card, app spending in Norway’s history

Payment data shows new records for consumer spending were set on this year’s Black Friday in Norway.

Black Friday saw highest card, app spending in Norway’s history
Photo: AFP

Figures from card payment provider Nets and mobile payment app Vipps AS show that online and card spending hit new highs in Norway on Black Friday.

Cards were used for over nine million payments, according to a Nets press statement.

That represents the first time the nine million figure has been exceeded for card payments during a single day.

As many as 9.2 million card payments were made on Friday November 29th, an increase of 3.5 percent compared to the equivalent day in 2018.

Payment cards were used to pay for goods and services totalling a value of 3.8 billion kroner. That is also a significant increase compared to 2018, at 1.9 percent.

The figures mean that Black Friday 2019 had the highest total for debit and credit card payments in Norway’s history.

“Based on card statistics, it seem as though many people were out shopping from 10am and that continued throughout the day. There was also significantly higher card spending in the evening,” Nets Norway’s press spokesperson Stein-Arne Tjore said in the statement.

Card payments encompassed by the figures include Norwegian credit and debit card payments as well as international cards and electronic gift cards.

Online shopping also saw growth, with 12 percent more online sales on Black friday this year compared to 2018.

“Compared to an average Friday, 46 percent more online purchases were made (on November 29th),” Tjore said.

Mobile payment app Vipps also saw unprecedented numbers on Black Friday. A new record was set on the app on Thursday before being surpassed on Friday.

The total value of Vipps payments on Black Friday 2019 was 154 percent higher than last year.

READ ALSO: 'We have to do something': Norwegians warned about Black Friday spending