CopenhagenDenmark is one of the most prosperous countries in Europe and a gateway to the rest of Scandinavia or the Nordic region. Danish consumers have a relatively affluent lifestyle and are informed consumers with an eye for quality and good design. The population is mainly urban, with some 30% living in Copenhagen. Danes have excellent public services in health, education and transport.

A survey by OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) showed that Danes have the highest score in terms of life satisfaction suggesting that consumers are regaining trust in the future, the market and life itself.
Denmark has proved to be an attractive destination for investment from a number of international retailers, but there are also a number of strong domestic retailers, including Bestseller with its many trading fascias at home and abroad. Other Danish companies with international operations include Ecco, IC Companys, Pandora, Bang & Olufsen and Lego.

ECONOMIC INDICATORS*20142015F2016F2017F2018F
GDP growth
Private Consumption Growth
Industrial production
Unemployment rate (%)
DKR/€ (average)
DKR/ US$ (average)
Interest rates Short Term (%) 0.3-
Interest rates 10-year (%)
NOTE: *annual % growth rate unless otherwise indicated. E estimate F forecast
Source: Oxford Economics Ltd. and Consensus Economics Inc

Population 5.7 million (2015)
GDPDKK 1.903 billion (2014)
Public sector balance -0.4% of GDP (2013)
Public sector debt 43,6% of GDP (2015Q1)
Current account balance 6.6% of GDP (2013)
Parliament Venstre
Head of State Queen Margrethe II
Prime Minister Lars Lykke Rasmussen
Election datesJune 2015 (Parliamentary)
Retail Volume-
Retail Value-1.5-2.5-2.5-1.01.2

Source: Oxford Economics Ltd. and Consensus Economics Inc

Capital Region1,750,000

loading map - please wait...

Greater Copenhagen: 55.676097, 12.568337
Aarhus: 56.162939, 10.203921
Aalborg: 57.028811, 9.917771
Odense: 55.403756, 10.402370
Esbjerg: 55.476466, 8.459405
marker icon
icon-car.png Fullscreen-Logo KML-Logo

Greater Copenhagen
marker icon
icon-car.png Fullscreen-Logo KML-Logo

marker icon
icon-car.png Fullscreen-Logo KML-Logo

marker icon
icon-car.png Fullscreen-Logo KML-Logo

marker icon
icon-car.png Fullscreen-Logo KML-Logo



Føtex, Bilka, Netto (Dansk Supermarked), Kvickly, Fakta, Irma, Superbrugsen (Coop), Superbest


Aldi, Lidl, KIWI, Rema1000


Bang & Olufsen, Vila, Vero Moda, Name It, Selected, Jack & Jones (Bestseller), Lego, Søstrene Grene, Change, Bianco, Matas, Neye, Skagen Designs, Pandora, Inwear, Matinique, Saint Tropez, Jackpot (IC Companys)


Ikea, Zara, Hamley’s, Abercrombie & Fitch, Vans, Gucci, Mulberry, Hérmes, Burberry, North Face, H&M, Geox, Tiger of Sweden, Marlboro Classics, ACNE, Lacoste, Christian Louboutin, Hilfiger, Marina Rinaldi, Armani, Max Mara, Louis Vuitton, Benetton, Hugo Boss, Aubade, Moncler, The Body Shop, Disney, New Yorker, Adidas

Food & Beverage Operators

McDonalds, Burger King, Sticks ‘n’ Sushi, Joe & the Juice, Baresso, Halifax, Domino’s, KFC, Lagkagehuset, Emmery’s

10.00-18.0010.00-17.0010.00-16.00 (only chosen Sundays)

FieldsCopenhagen S74,0002004
Kolding StorcenterKolding60,0001993
FisketorvetCopenhagen V39,0002000
Rødovre CentrumRødovre38,6901966
Lyngby StorcenterLyngby34,0001973
Bruuns GalleriAarhus29,0002003
FrederiksbergcentretFrederiksberg30,0001996 /2013

Denmark is one of Europe’s smaller markets but is a mature and competitive retail market. It is also one of the most innovative and dynamic retail markets.

Total existing stock of shopping center (over 5,000 sq.m) space in Denmark totaled over 1.7 million sq.m. GLA as of 1 January 2014. Shopping center stock in Denmark is characterized by the relatively high number of smaller units in comparison to other European markets.

The retail warehouse market is a mature and well-established part of the retail economy, though retail warehouses are subject to stringent planning controls in edge- and out of town locations along major roads.

There are only two factory outlet centres in Denmark; Premier Outlet Ringsted located in Ringsted, a 45 minutes’ drive from Copenhagen and Copenhagen Designer Outlets which is located in connection to City 2 shopping centre. Premier Outlet Ringsted covers 13,200 sq.m, with 60 retail units let to tenants including Hugo Boss, Nike, Levi’s, Calvin Klein Underwear, Wolford, Puma and Reebok. Danish brands at the factory outlet include: Samsøe & Samsøe, Friis & Co, and Modström. Copenhagen Designer Outlets consists of 17,500 sq.m and more than 80 units, Copenhagen Designer Outlets, is a significant international designer outlet in Europe, combining both international and Scandinavian brands under one roof.

E-commerce is on the move in Denmark. Internet usage in Denmark is one of the highest in Europe, and this is further shown in the proportion of users that have shopped online. Almost three-quarters of the population have made an online purchase in the previous year. The frequency and the amount of money spent on online shopping are steadily increasing in Denmark, especially among the young people below the age of 25 years.

There are no restrictions on foreign companies either buying or leasing commercial property in Denmark. It is generally believed that the Danish lease structure is more orientated toward the tenant than the landlord. The leases are constantly rolling until the tenant gives notice, even though i.e. a 5 years lease contract is signed.

Many Danish retailers like the nature of leases which gives them fixed rents for a four year period, though with an annual indexation. After 4 years, it is possible to regulate the rent in order for it to correspond to the market rent.

New Entrants to the Market

Tod’s ValentinoSaint LaurentDesigualIsabel MarentBOYY

Lease TermsRetail leases in Denmark are traditionally on-going until notice is given by the tenant or until the tenant wishes to assign the lease to another tenant, hence receiving key money. It is usual that the contracting parties agree on a non-termination period - typically 5 years from the tenant and 10 years from the landlord - could be less or more. The latter usually when letting to an anchor tenant. An overall guiding principle is the tenant giving X years and landlord 2xX years. Be aware though that the landlord in principle cannot break a lease contract unless the tenant does not fulfil his obligations according to the contract. One other break option for the landlord is to actually pay an economic compensation to the tenant in order to make the tenant leave, but this is rare hence the amount claimed by the tenant. A minor part of retail leases can be on a temporary basis.
Rental PaymentRents are typically payable monthly or quarterly in advance. Turnover/percentage rents are seen in shopping centres and for smaller parts in the high streets. A security deposit is always required from the tenant - usually corresponding to 3-6 month’s rent either in cash or as a bank guarantee. The security deposit does not only secure rent payment but also all other tenant obligations according to the lease contract.
Rent ReviewIndexation each year is common practice and is usually combined with a minimum increase percentage of between 2%-4%. Market rental review is commonly every 4 year, but the parties can agree otherwise when entering into a contract e.g. an extended period and neither part has to actually act according to the right to review the rent. From a landlord perspective this is often due to the annual indexation which more or less secures a steady market rent.
Service Charges, Repairs and Insurance Service charges are usually paid in shopping centres but now, it is seen more often in the high street retail leases as well. The service charges cover the landlord’s expenses in terms of security, cleaning, landscaping, external maintenance and insurance, servicing of elevators, property taxes etc. In addition an A/C payment covering water, heating, air conditioning, management fees etc. is paid. Internal maintenance and internal insurance are a tenant obligation handled and paid directly by the tenant. Electricity is paid directly to the supplier. Leases can be submitted to VAT or not. The landlord is responsible for external /structural matters in general (could be charged back via service charges). The tenant is responsible for internal matters.
Property Taxes and other costs The local government authority charge the ‘rates’, the local property tax, which is payable on commercial property. The government sets rateable value every year. The property taxes are paid by the landlord and charged back via service charges or as a separate, additional cost to the rent paid by the tenant. VAT at 25% can be charged on rental payments.
Disposal of a LeaseSub-letting is possible in app. 50% of all lease contracts subjected to the landlord’s approval. Assignment rights are very common in retail lease contracts and will be subject to consent or with a landlord’s right to re-negotiate terms of the lease. A new tenant must be approved by the landlord both financially and within business capability - an approval which should not be unreasonably withheld. When the lease is terminated by the tenant, the tenant is responsible for re-instating the premises to the same condition as at the start of the lease subject to normal wear and tear UNLESS assigned in which case the new tenant takes over these obligations. All tenant improvements must be approved by the landlord subject to the alteration covenant in the lease and the fact that approval should not be unreasonably withheld.
Valuation MethodsShops are valued on a 'zoning' basis. The retail zoning principle recognises that the area at the front of the shop, adjacent to its primary window frontage (normally referred to as “Zone A or 1”) is the most valuable in rental terms. In DK, it is rare to zone in more than 3 areas in the ground floor. Behind Zone A or 1, Zone B or 2 is found and the rate per square foot can usually be halved or 2/3. Last Zone C or 3 is usually 1/3 or more. Upper and lower sales floors are similarly valued as a proportion of the “Zone A” rate, with basement and/or first floor sales accommodation typically taken at 1/2 or 1/3 or less. Basement for stocking is usually rated 1/10 of the Zone A or 1 rent, but outside high street areas they can be up to 1/3 of the ground floor rent. There will occasionally be local variations to these rates, which will also depend on the quality and functionality of the accommodation, relative to the market norm. For corner units, it is usual to add a small percentage to the value of the ground floor, the amount of which will depend on the degree of overall prominence.
LegislationThe Danish Business Lease Act - Law no. 934 of December 20, 1999 and amendments. Leases must be in writing and the lease document forms the standard documentation required. A mandatory standard form of lease does not exist although a market standard is in place.

Denmark Contacts

Kristian Vinggaard

Head of Retail, RED Property Advisers
Amaliegade 3,5
1256 Copenhagen K
Tel: +45 33 13 13 99
Mob: +45 51 58 09 32