Company wants to build Rema 1000 grocery store – directly in front of competitor Svalbardbutikken
Longyearbyen may get a second grocery store as the company that owns the Rema 1000 chain is seeking to build one as part of the city’s central redevelopment plan. Rema Franchise Norway AS is among about 20 entities that has submitted proposals and other comments to the city government’s proposed plan, with the company stating it wants to build a 1,200-square-meter store in the parking area between Lompensenteret and the 78 Nord sports shop – which would place it directly in front of the long-established Svalbardbutikken supermarket. The company is also discussing the possibility of a store in one of three development projects at Elvesletta across the street from the shopping center. City leaders have said they are generally supportive of a second grocer, but issues such as sufficient parking and determining if the Nordpolet retail liquor store should receive a separate entrance instead of being accessed through Svalbardbutikken for competitive purposes. The Longyearbyen Community Council is scheduled to discuss the plan Jan. 31.
Nine busineses honored for growth during difficult year
After a year when Svalbard suffered large layoffs and an economic depression, nine businesses still managed to receive an award honoring for them for strong growth. The winners range from major companies like Spitsbergen Travel (whose revenues increased from 62.6 million kroner in 2012, to nearly 237 million in 2015) to Svalbard Wildlife Adventures (which has three permanent office staff, and between three and 40 guides, depending on the season). Other winners include Green Dog Svalbard, Svalbard Bygg, Frisk Briis, Maler Anderssen, Mary-Ann’s Polarrigg, Arctic Autorent and Huset. The so-called Gazelle Awards are presented by Dagens Næringsliv and Bisnode Credit AS.