“Innom” in Oslo’s Grünerløkka believes it is a restaurant that is allowed to stay open on Sundays. However, most of the premises are used for the sale of food products.
Rema’s new concept “Innom” takes place in Oslo’s Grünerløkka. A regular Rema 1000 store has been operating in the 250-square-meter premises for years.
The store was closed in the spring and Innom reopened after a renovation period on May 5. The number of different food items has been reduced. Part of the space is instead used for a counter where customers can buy baked goods and pizza slices.
There is also a coffee machine in the same area. Salads and baguettes are in the fridge. There is a small bar counter and three high stools by the window, four cafe tables with chairs are laid out on the pavement. “Shop and bakery”, it says on the window.
Innom is open on weekdays from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Since June, Innom started to be open on Sundays as well, says general manager Havva Kara.
This was due to a need expressed by customers, he says.
– I assume they are closing
Grocery stores must not be open on Sundays. The exception is the so-called Brustad arches, i.e. stores with a sales area of less than 100 square meters. They are allowed to stay open on Sundays.
According to Havva Kara, Innom falls under this definition.
– We have received a permit because we also deal with catering. He says that the Business Board of Norway and Oslo Municipality have given permission for this.
Restaurants are allowed to stay open on Sundays.
But it’s not a restaurant, says John Thomas Suhr, head of Handel og Kontor (HK) in Oslo/Akershus.
He has made a trip to Innomi and looked at the premises.
– There is no doubt that this is a shop, not a restaurant. It’s very simple: the part of the room where they have groceries is more than 100 square meters. This is an illegal Sunday shopsays Suhr.
The union leader has a message for Innom:
– I assume they close on Sundays right now.
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“Only permission to serve food and drink”
In the letter from the Oslo Municipality Business Board at Innom/Rema 1000, where the application for a catering permit is granted, it is stated that “the place can be open 24 hours a day”.
At the same time, the agency points out that catering establishments that do not have a liquor license are not subject to the municipality’s opening hours rules.
Innom does not have an alcohol license, i.e. the right to serve alcohol.
The Norwegian Business Board also writes that “We only grant permission to serve food and drink. All other permits must be obtained from the appropriate state authority.
On Monday of this week, HK-Nytt Næringsetaten asked if the catering license allows Innom to be open on Sundays. We have not yet received an answer to this.
We got an email on Tuesday saying they are working on a response but not sure when they will have it ready.
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A new concept?
Managing director Havva Kara states that Innom is a subsidiary of the Rema system, not an independent merchant franchise like Rema 1000 stores.
– This is a test store that we are working on developing, he says.
– We have tried to create a new and forward-looking concept in a market with a huge number of single households. Innom is a hybrid. We do not only deal with groceries, but also with catering, confirms Kara.
John Thomas Suhr of HK disagrees that the concept is new.
He points out that there are many other grocery stores that both have a bakery, sell coffee, and have some tables and chairs for customers to sit on and next to. It does not allow to be open on Sundays, he believes.
This raises a debate: Zara employees want full-time positions. The clothing chain is responding by announcing even more part-time jobs.