Authorities ask Norwegians to get their Christmas shopping done early and avoid crowds

Christmas shopping - giftsPhoto: Gorm Kallestad / NTB
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Christmas is approaching, while the pandemic is sweeping the country. It is time for a record turnout in this year’s Christmas shopping, which the government asks people to get done as early as possible.

“We’ve had a global pandemic for Christmas, so it is important to take precautions. 

“I, therefore, recommend starting the Christmas shopping early and making purchases at times when there are as few as possible in the stores,” Minister of Trade and Industry Iselin Nybø (Venstre / Liberal Party) told news bureau NTB.

This year’s Christmas shopping is set to be record high, with more people in the shops, Nybø said. 

At the same time, the country is largely characterized by a number of sharpened corona measures. 

Norwegians are asked to stay at home as much as possible to avoid increased infection in society.

“Everyone must keep their distance and follow the current rules. If we do this, there is nothing to stop us from supporting local businesses and physically shopping in stores,” Nybø added.

Plan your Christmas shopping extra well

The health authorities also emphasize that this year it is a good idea to plan your Christmas shopping extra well and be out well in advance.

“Do not visit shops and shopping centers at the same time as everyone else if you can avoid it,” Assistant Health Director Espen Rostrup Nakstad told NTB.

He asked everyone who is going out to buy Christmas presents to keep a good distance and bring a face mask that can be used if there are too many people in the shops.

“And most important of all; if you are ill with a fever or new-onset respiratory symptoms, you should stay home until you are completely healthy,” he added.

NHO predicts record trading

With less travel abroad and fewer cultural events to spend money on domestically this year, the business community predicts that Norwegians will spend more on Christmas shopping than ever before, according to E24.

“We simply have more money to spend in the shops now,” Director of Economics at NHO Øystein Dørum said.

They expect Christmas shopping to rise from NOK 117 billion last year to NOK 126 billion this year, an increase of 7.6%. 

In that case, it means that Norwegians will spend an average of NOK 12,160 on this year’s Christmas shopping.

Post predicts historical demand

So far this year, the Norwegian postal service has experienced a 42% increase in packages from online shopping compared to last year, according to Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK).

Every year, several million packages are sent in the run-up to Christmas, and in recent years the proportion has increased. 

This year, the postal service expects a historic amount of packages. Therefore, they have stepped up with 600 extra people for Christmas.

“There is every reason to believe that we are entering a period where we will see an amount of packages that we have never seen before,” Press Manager Kenneth Tjønndal Pettersen at the Norwegian Post said.

Vinmonopol asks people to shop in the morning

2020 is also set to be a historic year for the Vinmonopol, with sales of just over 115 million liters during the year, compared to 82.6 million liters last year. 

Now, the Vinmonopol is preparing for the Christmas shopping. 

In this regard, they urgently ask everyone not to wait too long to buy drinks for Christmas.

“For reasons of infection control, our clear call is that this year’s Christmas shopping should be done during November, preferably in the morning and on a day early in the week,” Vinmonopol’s CEO Elisabeth Hunter said.

“In December this year, we expect sales of around 15 million liters spread over five million customer visits, the largest single month ever – a record that will probably stand for a long time,” she added.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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