“We are actually happy not to be a tourist attraction this year”

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Many seafood stores around Europe are suffering and will be challenged during the missing tourism season to stay afloat. But local Copenhagen fish shop is relieved to not have to serve foreign tourists this summer.

HAV.dk is a fish shop located in the heart of Copenhagen. Right by the most trafficked metro stop, that connects all parts of the town. Here a closed glass square was built on top of the remains of the local greens market. The food square “Torvehallerne” is known for attracting lots of tourists during the summer season. A place to take a small bite of all the Danish goods, and to buy more to take home. This year will be different.

“We are actually happy not to be a tourist attraction this year,” said co-owner of HAV.dk, Tommy Raabo Ficher, 8th generation fishermongers, to SalmonBusiness.

In Copenhagen, there was in 2018 4.3 million foreign tourists to stay the night in the Danish capital.

Tourist busses usually make a pit stop at Torvehallerne and Ficher’s store. This scares away a lot of local customers.

“When four busses arrive at once, the locals stay far away. By being located in the centre of Copenhagen we have many tourists. This won’t be the case this year,” said Tommy Raabo Ficher, and explained the customer’s he is expecting this year will be locals.

Tommy Raabo Ficher has been the co-owner of the local fish store is located in the heart of Copenhagen for ten years. Ficher is the 8th generation of fishermongers in his family. Photo: Hav.dk (with permission)

The seafood store- and food-service company is one of the biggest seafood stores for retail in Denmark. They have 44 employees, where most of them work in the store and four in their new food-service store.

The company sells one ton of salmon a week, all of the salmon they sell is from the Faroe Island salmon farmer Hiddenfjord.

No lockdown
Unlike a lot of other stores, the square has not been forced closed under the pandemic. This has been beneficial for the fish store, as there has been less demand for products, and the prices have therefore been lower with a larger return.

“The prices of products dropped, but the demand from our customers did not. People have bought just as much as before the pandemic. The sales have been the same as last year. And last year was a very good year,” he said.

More expensive products popular
Since April the company has been noticed an increasing sale of more expensive seafood.

The last two months the sale of lobsters, turbot, shrimps, king crab, oysters have gone up 30 per cent.

“People are cooking more at home. People have rediscovered the satisfaction of good home-cooked food,” he said.

In regards to sales of salmon, there has not been a change in the volume.

Kaj Bigum Hilfling is the other owner of HAV.dk, here working and helping customers at lunch time. Photo: Katrina Poulsen