Danish chains booming worldwide

The number of shops abroad has increased by nearly 25 percent in five years

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.

Well-tested concepts
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.

READ MORE: Danish exports to Sweden gathering momentum

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 




  • Three new countries recognise Palestine as an independent state – Denmark holds back

    Three new countries recognise Palestine as an independent state – Denmark holds back

    Norway, Spain and Ireland have announced that they will formally recognise Palestine as a state. A furious Israel has recalled its envoys from Dublin, Oslo and Madrid for emergency consultations. Denmark says it will only recognise Palestine under a two-state solution.

  • Digitization is the secret ingredient in Chinese restaurateur’s growth adventure

    Digitization is the secret ingredient in Chinese restaurateur’s growth adventure

    Publisher Jesper Skeel and Korean BBQ restaurant chain owner Zen discuss the ups and downs of independent entrepreneurship and how to crack the Copenhagen market, from both an international and Danish perspective.

  • Pro-Palestinian demonstrations divide Copenhagen society

    Pro-Palestinian demonstrations divide Copenhagen society

    As popular protests of the Israeli offensive in Gaza erupt around the world and in the media, from university campuses to the streets of major cities, discord is escalating between demonstrators, the general public, authorities and politicians.

  • Huge fire at Novo Nordisk – building “cannot be saved”

    Huge fire at Novo Nordisk – building “cannot be saved”

    A fire broke out at a Novo Nordisk site in Bagsværd on Wednesday morning. There have been no casualties, but the fire is “extensive and spreading”, and Novo’s administrative building “cannot be saved” say emergency services.

  • Denmark leads 15 member states in call to outsource EU migration policy

    Denmark leads 15 member states in call to outsource EU migration policy

    Just one day after the EU finally landed its New Pact on Migration and Asylum following four years of tough negotiations, a group of 15 member states, led by Denmark, issued a joint call for greater efforts to outsource migration policy and  prevent migrants from arriving at EU borders in the first place.

  • How to lead Danes IV – Cultural Bypassing

    How to lead Danes IV – Cultural Bypassing

    Many of us Danes, despite being well-educated and well-travelled, often lack experience in navigating cultural differences at work. This can lead to ‘cultural bypassing’, where we believe we are at a level of enlightenment where we no longer are burdened by the risk of making cross-cultural mistakes. As their manager, you can help your Danish colleagues by acknowledging cultural differences in the workplace.