Lack of tourists from Thailand, Denmark and Sweden hit Oslo luxury shops hard

Gucci is one of the Group 88’s luxury shops located in Nedre Slottsgate in the center of the capital of Oslo.
Photo: Lise Åserud, NTB scanpix

The Danish company Group 88 has been hit hard in 2020 by the lack of tourists from Thailand, China, Denmark, and Sweden. Group 88 owns eight of the luxury stores in central Oslo. According to the company they have had a turnover drop of around 14 percent since the pandemic paralyzed the world in March.

It is especially the lack of customers from Thailand, China, Sweden, Denmark, Italy, and the USA over the summer that have contributed to the drop. These foreign tourists normally account for 24 percent of annual turnover for Group 88.

The company has a total of 63 employees in various luxury stores in Norway, such as Balenciaga, Saint Laurent, Mulberry, Valentino, Gucci, Burberry, and Bottega Veneta.

CEO Thomas Møller says in an interview with E24, that the company has chosen to use the redundancy scheme to adapt personnel costs to the current turnover, and in that way try to avoid redundancies.

Norwegians are the largest source of income for luxury stores and account for 76 percent of sales yearly. The company has experienced a relatively stable, and for a period an increasing demand, from the Norwegian consumer during the pandemic, but it still has not been enough for the company.

Group 88 announced at Christmas the dismissal of 21 employees from their Oslo stores and the company fears that they might need to lay-off even more employees if the pandemic continues to limit foreign tourists from traveling.

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