Ordinary, shops | Normal with large investments: opening 15 new stores

Ordinary, shops |  Normal with large investments: opening 15 new stores

Normal is opening stores at an impressive pace in 2023.

– Pre-Christmas shopping is always crowded in a positive way for stores. We have the final push with two stores opening this week and another next week before the new year, Normal’s president Thomas Harsvik tells Nettavisen.

On Wednesday this week, a store opened in Öttestad, near Hamar. Store opening on Thursday in Sandnessjøen in Nordland. Next week another store will be opened, which will be in Arkaden in Skien.

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– Then we have opened about 40 stores since January. “We are now taking a short break, before we have at least 15 stores by the first half of 2024,” says Harsvik.

– Good potential

Therefore, the year 2023 will end with the opening of 40 new stores. There are few, if any, in the merchandise trade that can keep up with this pace. According to Harsvik, there is no indication that the pace of store openings will slow down anytime soon.

– How long can you grow so fast?

– It’s hard to say exactly. We still see good potential in Norway and will likely achieve a good pace of establishment in the coming years.

These are just some of the stores that will open in 2024:

  • Sornadal: Alte Sornadal
  • Drammen: Torget jacket
  • We: AMFI We
  • Spruce: Smitorgt
  • Brønnøysund: Port centre
  • Nespro: Holmen Centre

1000 people in Fulda

Nettavisen recently wrote about store closures in both the Coop and Norgesgruppen. The latter has chains such as Kiwi, Mini and Spar.

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But in Normal, there are stores open. When they opened a store in Fulda recently, about 1,000 people showed up, according to Harsvik.

– What makes you open so many stores at such a fast pace?

– “Normal” has been well received in Norway and we operate profitably where we have established ourselves. This allows us to invest in new stores and thus expand in parallel with interesting and accessible locations,” says Harsvik.

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He says Normal is receiving many inquiries and requests for the chain to establish itself in new locations.

– In addition to the central areas of big cities, we also have demand in small cities and towns such as Vosnavåg, Froland and Geilo, he says.

Norway is geographically large. So we have some gaps to fill. And now we are finally going to Kirkenes. Then we are represented from Kirkenes in the north to Mandal in the south.

The Grocery Chain Challenge

Normal estimates are that about 80 percent of its product range competes with grocery stores.

– Normal was good at creating a fun and slightly different store concept that customers wanted, says Virke’s branch manager, Bendik Solum Whist. Virke counts major grocery players such as Coop and Norgesgruppen as members.

He believes that stores like Normal contribute to increased competition.

The prevailing trend in trade in recent years is that the differences between industries have become blurred and competition is intensifying. He says that convenience players and others within a wide range of products have been growth winners in recent years and are strong competitors to existing grocery players within the product groups they sell.

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The industry director believes that this development is a positive sign.

– It is often claimed that competition in the grocery market is very bad, but the fact that stores like Normal can establish themselves and grow so quickly clearly shows that it is possible to establish themselves in the Norwegian grocery market and compete with established players.

Dalila Awolowo

Dalila Awolowo

"Explorer. Unapologetic entrepreneur. Alcohol fanatic. Certified writer. Wannabe tv evangelist. Twitter fanatic. Student. Web scholar. Travel buff."

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