15 November 2010

Grocery Shopping in Copenhagen

When I first arrived in Denmark I was a little skeptical in my search for finding a legit grocery store. One of my biggest problems has been finding good sources of protein, but I think I have finally found a good store close by - Fotex. The store has been giving me good quality at a comparable price to the everyday smaller stores like Netto and Aldi.

I’ll make sure to upload a video soon of me shopping in a grocery store, it will be quite entertaining. Anyways, Danes like value for their money, and this is reflected in their shopping habits. Most people do their shopping a the budget supermarkets, the largest of which are the Netto chain and the German-owned Aldi chain. Both of these chains have a no-frills, value-for-money approach to the sale of foodstuffs. Service is minimal to keep down overhead and thereby, prices. The upper end of the market would be represented by the Irma and Iso chain stores, but fewer Danes use them for shopping on a daily basis, preferring to use them for the purchase of luxury goods. Service in the Danish supermarkets is in general below the standards of the U.S.A., due to the high cost of wages and the need to keep overhead down in a competitive market.

Shopping hours are controlled by legislation. Store hours are Monday to Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 1 p.m. Shops are open longer on the first Saturday of every month, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Store hours are gradually being extended, but it is a slow process as the legislation is to be updated.

The most recent change has been the easing of restrictions on Sunday hours, with shops now allowed to be open on a limited number of Sundays during the year - usually the first Sunday of each month. The hours of operation really proposed a problem, considering when I usually wake up on Saturdays the shops are closed, and on most Sundays of the month they are closed as well. It has required me to do much proper planning.


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