Danish interior retail chain Søstrene Grene is opening a new shop in the Phoenix Centre bringing the number of its stores in Hamburg to three. Earlier in June, the company opened its first store in Germany on the Hamburg Meile. Another Søstrene Grene store was recently opened in the Alstertal shopping centre. Mikkel Grene, CEO and co-owner of Søstrene Grene, said: “The positive feedback from German customers and especially in Hamburg is overwhelming.”
Illums Bolighus & Hi-Fi Klubben open stores
Søstrene Grene is not the only Danish retail chain opening stores in Hamburg. The Danish design store Illums Bolighus opened a new shop near Jungfernstieg in November. The Danes are leasing 1,500 square metres of shop space spread over three floors on Neuen Wall and are offering a selection of design, interior, lifestyle and fashion brands. In April, the Danish electronics retailer, Hi-Fi Klubben, opened its first store in Germany in downtown Hamburg.
Danes among most important investors in Hamburg
Danish firms make an important contribution to the German economy. Bestseller, a clothing and accessories company founded in Denmark, has 1,500 employees across Germany, according to figures by HWF and sells brands like Jack&Jones, Vero Moda and only in its 500 stores. The Copenhagen-based jewellery-maker Pandora employs 700 staff in Germany making it an important employer. Markets in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy and the Netherlands are managed from Hamburg. Last year, Pandora opened a flagship store in the Europa Passage shopping centre. Commenting on the development, Dr. Rolf Strittmatter, Managing Director of HWF, said: “Danish firms are traditionally among the most important international investors in Hamburg. Over 160 companies with Danish financial backing were entered in the Hamburg commercial register between 2012-2015.”
Hamburg as test market for further expansion
Hamburg and Denmark already have close economic ties and 800 Hamburg-based firms including Jungheinrich, Kühne & Nagel und Beiersdorf have business links to the kingdom, according to the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (June 2016). And conversely, around 250 Danish firms have branches in Hamburg. No other location in Germany hosts as many Danish firms, according to the Hamburg Business Development Corporation (HWF). Sandra Bækby-Hansen, a spokesperson for the German-Danish Chamber of Commerce, said: “Hamburg is a natural launching pad for Danish companies who wish to expand to Germany.”