Southern Norway is in the midst of a diaper shortage after a supermarket price war lured enterprising bulk shoppers from eastern Europe who have cleaned out the shelves, customs officials and retailers said.
Norway is one of the world’s most expensive countries. However, supermarkets in the south trying to lure local customers by undercutting rivals on the price of “nappies” have inadvertently made it profitable enough for residents of nearby countries to start trading in them.
“They buy every last diaper, I mean everything we have on the shelves, throw it in the back of their car and take them home, where they sell it for a nice profit,” says Terje Ragnar Hansen, a regional director for retail chain Rema 1000.
“It’s not stealing and it’s not even criminal, but it’s a big problem… they leave nothing for our regular customers.
Customers come into Norway from Sweden, drive along the coast to fill their cars, then take a ferry back to the continent, said Helge Breilid, the chief of customs in Kristiansand on Norway’s southern coast.
Some have been stopped with diapers worth up to 50,000 crowns (6,700 euros), roughly 80,000 diapers, a legal shipment even though Norway is not part of the European Union.
“They told us that the only reason they came to Norway was to drive around and buy diapers to bring back home and resell,” Breilid said.
“These people mainly come from Poland and Lithuania, and we have no reason to believe that they are part of any criminal gangs.”
Norwegian diapers cost as little as 30 crowns (four euros) for 50, less than half of the current price in Lithuania.
- 1The nuclear waste site at the heart of Canada’s wildfires
- 2A handshake, a kiss and a hug at historic meeting of Catholic and Muslim leaders
- 3Missing EgyptAir flight made no “swerves” before crashing – Cairo
- 4French union blockades spark petrol shortages
- 5Emergency response: inside Ecuador’s disaster zones
- 1EgyptAir crash: airline says Flight MS804 wreckage found
- 2Venezuela economy fractured with shortages of essentials across the country
- 3The nuclear waste site at the heart of Canada’s wildfires
- 4Crimean Tatars look for Eurovision boost on day of national tragedy
- 5Kazakh police break up anti-government protests
Latest world news
EgyptAir crash: forensics suggest ‘explosion on board’ – Egyptian official
Greece begins evacuation of Idomeni refugee camp
Brazil in crisis after leaked tape forces out interim President’s ally
Austria’s president-elect talks of uniting his divided country
Missing EgyptAir flight made no “swerves” before crashing – Cairo
Wires > News
- 11:38 CET Yemen university bomb kills gardener, injures two students
- 11:37 CET Key economy figures kept in new Turkish cabinet, Erdogan keeps…
- 11:36 CET Saudi court hands death sentence to man convicted of 2004 attack…
- 11:25 CET Japan sales tax, snap poll in focus as Abe prepares for G7 summit
- 11:22 CET Insight – In Iran, dividends of nuclear deal are slow to appear
- 11:15 CET Myanmar poet’s jail term “like from the old days”
- 11:10 CET Pit collapse kills at least 13 in Myanmar jade-mining district
- 10:55 CET French police break up refinery blockade in anti-reform showdown