Shopping giant for freezer freaks
In 1970, Dansk Supermarked A/S opened Denmark's first discount store under the name Bilka near the town of Tilst, a few kilometres outside Aarhus, Jutland. Many families had bought freezers and cars during the affluent 1960s. So the many potential bulk buyers in…
A discount store in disguise as a depot
Back in 1966, Aarhus had a carefully devised regional plan. This specified that large discount retail stores and service providers outside the city centre should be located exclusively at two brand new shopping centres in Lisbjerg and Hasselager. Dansk Supermarked found a suitable site and applied to the local municipality in Brabrand-Årslev for permission to build a depot for Salling's department store. When the building permit was obtained, however, the supermarket chain adjusted the project – from a depot into a discount store. Although a retail store of that size clearly violated the regional plan, the store had already been built, so the county council could do nothing. For the first few years, the store was run like an open warehouse, with forklift trucks busily shifting goods on pallets during opening hours. But this inconvenienced the customers. With their economic foundation totally undermined, the shopping centre projects never got off the ground.
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