While there are fewer foreign chains making their way to Danish shores than in the past, there are more Danish retail businesses abroad than ever, ideally placed to profit from an expected export bonanza.
"Denmark has large and strong groups with streamlined concepts,” Henning Bahr, the head of Retail Institute Scandinavia, told Jyllands-Posten newspaper. “Several of the companies are family-owned, and they have had the money and guts to grow when others failed.”
Last year, there were 10,364 Danish-owned stores doing business abroad, and the growth is expected to continue.
Despite the economic downturn, new stores have kept on opening up year after year, and growth is expected to continue. Bestseller, Jysk, Ecco and Netto all have ambitious growth plans.
Business group Dansk Detail said that Danish chains are skilled at developing concepts that export well to other countries.
“Competition is fierce in Denmark, so concepts are honed before they are sent to other markets, making them more durable,” Jens Birch Holm, the head of Dansk Detail, told Jyllands-Posten.
Chain shops Tiger and Søstrene Grene are expanding beyond Danish borders and quirky coffee house brand Joe & The Juice and the steakhouse MASH are enticing diners and drinkers worldwide as well.
While Danish retailers expand abroad, the number of foreign chains hanging up a shingle in Denmark has dropped by nearly ten percent in the past five years, mostly due to consumers tightening their belts during the financial crisis.
"When there is a crisis, international chains tend to focus on their strongest markets,” said Bahr