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17 December 2021

Sweden’s monopolist alcohol retailer Systembolaget offers home deliveries

Sweden | In Sweden there is only one company that is allowed to sell full strength beer, wine and spirits: Systembolaget. Actually, the state monopoly does not want to make it too easy for its compatriots to drink alcohol. But now the company is offering a nationwide delivery service for the first time.

Since the end of October, Swedes can have alcohol delivered to their homes. After a two-year trial, citizens in all parts of the country will benefit from this service. The entry into e-commerce is a milestone for Systembolaget. So far, you could only buy alcohol in Systembolaget’s 440 outlets, or pick it up from 470 agents, like post offices or supermarkets.

The small print

However, there are strict rules in line with Sweden’s tough alcohol laws. Couriers must not deliver outside of Systembolaget’s opening hours, that is after 8pm on a weekday or 3pm on a Saturday (even if the driver is running late). Moreover, drivers must check the recipient’s ID to ensure they do not hand over their wares to anyone under 20, or seemingly drunk.

Those wanting to order home delivery must also plan well in advance. Deliveries can take between four and six working days for items which are only available in Systembolaget’s central warehouse. And the service does not come cheap. The lowest delivery charge is approximately USD 14 for one package, holding either up to 12 bottles of wine, or 24 cans of beer.

As you can see, it is faster and cheaper to buy your beer in one of Systembolaget’s shops. That is probably the whole idea.