Outlet malls are gaining considerable ground in many parts of the world, but they are not enjoying the same popularity in Denmark. The opening of a new large-scale outlet mall in Taastrup near Copenhagen, Denmark made this very clear. Only 17 of the 80 available leases were let on the opening day.

An outlet mall is a place where stores with exclusive brands can sell last year´s collections and their remaining products at a reduced price. But how does this relatively new phenomenon interact with the Danes´ shopping habits – and what are they? How do they feel about online shopping, do they shop local or are they willing to spend more than one hour on transportation for a great shopping experience?

Our study shows that especially young people between the ages of 18-34 think that an outlet mall is of interest to them. But the outlet malls have a major factor against them, as the study also shows. Geographically, outlet malls are often located outside the major cities, which naturally lead to a greater proportion of persons that are obliged to include longer transport.

The study clearly shows that there´s a general trend among Danes that they are not willing to spend more than a maximum of 30 to 60 minutes on transportation when it comes to shopping. It is a challenge that needs to be taken serious, and the outlet malls are dependent upon being easily-accessible - also in relation to public transport.

Online shopping is considered safe

Online shopping is something the Danes all do across region, gender and age. And our study also shows that online shopping is considered very safe. Among the 18-34 year-olds there is no noteworthy distrust, and only just over 10 percent of the 35-55 year-olds feel some insecurity when it comes to online shopping.

Although outlet malls have had limited success in Denmark, the study shows that there are some similarities between the Danes´ shopping habits and what the outlet malls have to offer - exclusive products at a reduced price. You can argue that online shopping in Denmark has the place in the market that the outlet malls want to get a share of. The outlet malls therefore need to focus on their online presence and how they create a synergy between the physical mall and the online shopping opportunities in order to get a bigger share of the market.

Outlet malls are a relatively new phenomenon in Denmark, and it is way too early to conclude that they have no place in the Danish market. There is hardly anyone doubting that shopping as a phenomenon is here to stay and that there always will be a market for buying exclusive brands at a reduced price. Outlet malls just need to convince the Danish online shopper that their product is worth the transportation.

- By Erik Stengaard-Pedersen

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