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Swedish alcohol retail monopoly, Systembolaget sets sales record

Thursday, 10 November 2011
Exactly what the Swedish government wanted – that when people want to buy alcohol, the state should be the only one to cash from it.

Evidence: the Swedish alcohol monopoly owned by the government, known as Systembolaget has seen its sales increased by 26 percent, every year since 2006. This is a new sales record for Systembolaget, against a move where the higher prices imposed on the alcoholic produce was aimed at reducing the consumption of alcohol in Sweden.

Last year, alcoholic beverages were sold in Systembolaget for more than Skr30 billion and this comes as the retail sector in general is deteriorating due to the uncertain economic situation in the country caused mostly by external macro economic climate such as the Euro zone inconsistencies.


The monopoly continues Systembolaget to show strong numbers as in September, it sold 6.5 percent more alcohol than the same month last year. Meanwhile, the total retail sales in the country stood at only 0.8 per cent in current prices.

Since 2006, Systembolaget sales have risen from nearly Skr 24 billion to over Skr 30 billion and the number of customer visits has increased from 101 million to 116 million per year.
One explanation is that more and more Swedes are choosing to do their shopping in the state monopoly stores instead of shopping in neighbouring countries, on international flights and on the web.

At the same time the average customers, Swedes, have ore disposable incomes and don’t really care much about the higher prices in the stores. A normal collection of liquor is sold here at about Skr260. Five years ago the Swedes on average bought same drinks here at Skr235 at each visit at Systembolaget.

According to Stockholm University's measurements of alcohol consumption, it shows that pure alcohol consumption in Sweden has risen every year, but not as much as sales in krona. It holds therefore that customers have changed their preferences.

“We do nothing to promote our products and attract customers to our stores. Systembolaget is there to reduce the harmful effects of alcohol. Our mission is to provide good service,” says Lennart Agen of Systembolaget.

Something that has increased greatly, along with alcoholic sales is the demand for non -alcoholic beverages. Last year 31 percent more alcohol-free alternatives were sold and so far this year, sales have increased by 19 percent.

“Systembolaget now offers more and better non-alcoholic products. There are more drinks to adult tastes, which provide good food and drink combinations. They are drier than, say, juice and soft drinks,” said Agen.
By Scancomark.se Team

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