COPENHAGEN, Sept. 5 (Xinhua) -- Hundreds of Coop Denmark's Dagli'Brugsen supermarkets across the country switched off lights on Monday to protest rising energy prices, said a press release from the company.
Starting at noon, approximately 300 shops participated in the protest, with several large shopping centers supporting them on social media platforms. The move also involved disconnecting and removing from the stores over 2,000 coolers.
"(The protest) will be short-term and symbolic, but it will demonstrate that many of these smaller businesses are under extreme pressure from rapidly rising costs, which may threaten the existence of a number of local businesses in the long run," said the press release.
It also said the company is examining whether it would be possible to make the protest "permanent on a large scale."
At current prices, Coop's total annual electricity bill will rise by about 500 million DKK (66.76 mln U.S. dollars).
"All our stores have been hit hard by the (spike in) electricity prices. Therefore, we now must use extraordinary funds," CEO Allan Kristoffersen said in the press release.
Drastically rising grocery prices and shrinking profits call for tailored intervention by decision makers, said Anders Kaa, vice-chairman of the local grocery vendors' association.
"We want to (send a clear signal to) politicians and make them aware that something must be done if the small shops are to survive," said Kaa.
The price of gas on the benchmark Dutch TTF hub increased about 31 percent on Monday. ■