In 1995, 17.3% of the Danish workforce was employed in wholesale, retail, hotels, and restaurants. Large units are becoming more common in wholesale as well as retail trade, ordering directly from local manufacturers and foreign suppliers. Retail operations now include purchasing organizations, various types of chains, cooperatives, self-service stores, supermarkets, and department stores. Chain stores are gaining dominance in the non-food retail goods market. The food retail sector is primarily controlled by two main Danish supermarket chains, though there are about 30 other independent food import establishments. A 25% value-added tax applies to most goods and services.
Danish retail trade is marked by keen competition between independent retailers, manufacturers' chains, and consumer cooperatives. About 30% of all Danish retail establishments are in the greater Copenhagen area, and these account for almost 40% of all retail sales.
Business opening hours vary between 8 and 9 AM ; closing is between 5:30 and 7 PM for stores and 4 to 4:30 PM for offices. Early closing (1 PM ) on Saturdays is now standard. Banking hours are from 9:30 AM to 4 PM , Monday through Friday; also, 4 to 6 PM on Thursday.
General, trade, and technical periodicals are important media, and direct-mail and film advertising are used extensively. Radio and television commercials are prohibited. The most important trade exhibition, the International Fair, takes place every spring in Copenhagen.