According to Virken, the general retail trade increased by 9.2 percent in Norway in January, as compared to the same month a year ago, despite the closure of some shops and malls for one week, rising by 54.3 percent online and by 6.4 percent offline. The sporting goods sector had the biggest gain, rising by 49.8 percent, due mainly to the weather. We could not get any statistics for Sweden, but the new year started out strongly also in Finland. According to the country’s Fashion and Sports Trade Association, sales of sporting goods went up by 64 percent year-on-year in January, with increases of 39 percent in apparel, 14 percent in footwear and 114 percent in equipment. The association mentions a shortage of winter sports equipment in the stores. Mirroring a situation encountered in Norway, sales of bicycles went up by 49 percent in Finland, although they are generally sold only in the warmer months. It’s possible that this was due to late deliveries of previously ordered bikes.