Cash registers bulge from summer spending

This year's hot weather ihas not only dazzled meteorologists, but shops across the country say the heat wave has bewitched people into a spending spree

The frequent plus 30°C weather has companies crossing their fingers for more summery weather this summer. The blazing sun has led people to spend a record amount on everything from sunscreen and grills to tents and koldskål, Denmark's favourite chilled dessert.

At Arla, a large dairy company, 'koldskål meteorologists' check the weather forecast everyday to gauge how much of the chilled buttermilk dish the company needs to make to meet demand. Arla and other dairies have seen record sales and have run production lines at full throttle.

'We have already sold 6.5 million litres of koldskål between weeks 15 and 30, where are we sold 5.1 million litres the year before,' said Frederikke Tømmergaard, an information officer at Arla.

Grill manufacturers Weber-Stephen Nordic and competitor Dancook have also enjoyed record sales in 2006. Weber has seen a 20 percent increase in sales from the same period last year, while Dancook's increase is in the 40 to 45 percent bracket, including the sale of coal, briquettes, and grill accessories.

Traditionally people skip movie theatres in the summer, enjoying the extra hours of sunshine, but theatres have also noted healthy attendance this summer. Video stores are also seeing a robust number of rentals.

'We had expected a significant decline in rentals because of the nice weather, but we have had a good turnover,' Jesper Østergaard, CEO of Blockbuster in Denmark, told daily newspaper Jyllands-Posten. 'We also hope that the hot weather will continue so that people will get sick of the beach and return to a normal consumer pattern.'

Meteorologist Stig Rosennørn said this July ranks as one of the five hottest and sunniest summers in Denmark's history.

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