The American bargain shopping holiday Black Friday has made inroads in Iceland in recent years, putting strain on the websites of Icelandic businesses and raising expectations of deeper discounts among local consumers, RÚV reports.
“There was a line outside this morning,” reported Bragi Þór Antoníusson, the marketing manager for the Elko electronics chain. “Or at least 30 to 40 people. We expect more traffic later today than there has been. There’s more strain on the website than ever before, and we think that as the day progresses, people will come here [to the store] to complete their purchases.”
When asked if people might be taking the day off work to take advantage of sales, Vilma Ýr Árnadóttir, the assistant sales manager of homes goods store Rúmfatalagerinn said she could believe it, based on how much was happening at the store on Friday. Police in the capital area also issued a warning that a high incident of theft was expected on Friday, and urged people not to leave any visible items of value in their cars. Doing so could “clearly tempt thieves,” they wrote on their Facebook page. “It’s not complicated.”
A casual survey of shoppers revealed that Icelanders had been paying attention to prices on coveted items to track how good a deal they were getting. But many shoppers were unimpressed by the prevailing discounts. “In most stores that you’re seeing, there’s most often a 15-25% discount,” remarked Katrín Alexsandra Helgudóttir. “If we’re going to have this Black Friday like in the United States, then I think that we can do a little better than that.”