Icelandic liquor stores sold 767,000 litres of alcohol last year in the week leading up to Verslunarmannahelgi (Merchants’ Weekend), a long weekend celebrated in early August in Iceland. Around 137,000 customers entered liquor stores during the week, nearly 30,000 more than the weekly average in July. Iceland’s population, for comparison, is 350,000. RÚV reported first.
Merchants’ Weekend is a highlight of the summer for many Icelanders, with many capital-area residents leaving home for the countryside, often heading to one of many outdoor festivals occurring across the country.
Vínbúðin, the State Alcohol and Tobacco Company of Iceland, stated that all indications point to this year’s sales being just as high as last. In 2017, the highest volume of customers was seen on Friday, when 230,000 litres of alcohol were sold. Most customers that day shopped between 4-6pm, at a rate of roughly 6,400 customers per hour.
For locals and travellers, it may be helpful to note that Vínbúðin stores will be closed on Monday, August 6 for Merchants’ Day. Liquor store opening hours can be seen on Vínbúðin’s website.