Government shelves plans for changes to shop opening hours

Stephen Gadd
February 9th, 2019

This article is more than 5 years old.

A government proposal to deregulate shopping hours has not managed to gain sufficient backing

The 2012 laws enabled Danes to shop more at night, but LA want to extend this to all holidays (photo: Kristoffer Trolle/Flickr)

Although the rules have been greatly relaxed over the years, Denmark still has restrictions on the number of hours shops can stay open as well as which days they can open.

A recent government proposal aimed to remove the remaining restrictions so that it would be possible to shop 24/7, 360 days per year.

However, negotiations between the government and the various parties have broken down, reports TV2 News.

READ ALSO: Retail opening hours patronising to shopkeepers, contends Liberal Alliance

Time off for workers
Both Socialdemokratiet and Dansk Folkeparti have opposed the plan, arguing that it is important to safeguard the rights of shopworkers to have time off on bank holidays, as well as helping to prevent the closure of local shops in villages that would be out-competed by big chains.

On the other hand, according to the business and growth minister Rasmus Jarlov, abolishing the restrictions would make it easier for shops to combat the growth of internet trading, as well as benefiting tourism.

“The government wants to get rid of the restrictions. We think that it is the shops and their customers who should figure out when a shop should be open but of course we can’t do this if there is no parliamentary backing for it,” said Jarlov.

Still fairly liberal
The last time the law was changed was 2012. Among other things that allowed all shops the possibility of opening on Sundays. At present, shops selling to private customers must close on all public holidays, Constitution Day, Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve after 15:00. All in all, this adds up to 13.5 days.

Nevertheless, small supermarkets with an annual turnover of at most 33.2 million kroner are permitted to open on holidays.


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