Internet wine shops can sell directly to Swedish consumers and bypass the monopoly
The Swedish wine market is dominated by the monopoly retailer, Systembolaget (just like Alko in Finland and Vinmonopolet in Norway). Since a few years back there are a number of independent internet-based wine merchants selling directly to Swedish consumers. A interesting new channel to market.
This new feature of the Swedish wine market comes from an EU-ruling a few years back. The alcohol monopoly in Sweden is an exception to the EU free market directive that the Swedish government succeeded to negotiate. The free market directive would normally forbid a monopoly. However, the Swedish government successfully argued that the alcohol monopoly was vital for the public health (a fact that can be questioned with good reason if one looks at statistics).
The EU agreed to let Sweden maintain the monopoly for alcohol retail under one condition: that vendors based in other EU countries (outside of Sweden) would be allowed to sell directly to consumers. All this is of course ring-fenced with many other regulations.
From this has sprung a number of companies that sell wine and spirits over the internet directly to Swedish consumers. The typical set-up is a company created by some Swedish wine enthusiasts or entrepreneurs. They create a company that is based in another EU country (the seller must be based outside of Sweden). Popular countries to base the activity in are neighbouring Denmark and Germany, but also the Balkans and even Malta are used. Malta is actually the legal home base for what seems to be the most successful “Swedish” eshop (run by an Australian).
They then create an ecommerce site in Swedish with a marketing targeting Swedish consumers. The warehouse where the wine is stored and from where deliveries are made must also be located outside of Sweden.
The EU ruling (and Swedish law) also says that Swedish alcohol duty and VAT must be paid on the products, even if VAT has been paid in the country of origin (where the seller is based). This is contradictory to VAT rules on most other transactions and goods within the EU but is based on an EU court case that has established precedence. Many of the eshops take care of that formality on behalf of the buyer, but others leave it to the buyer to declare the goods and pay taxes to the Swedish government.
This internet commerce in wine, direct to consumers, exists since a few years back and is still very marginal. Probably less than one percent of the wines consumed in Sweden come this route. But it is growing and represents a potentially interesting channel for wine producers or wine merchants in the EU especially since it can be a way to reach customers with quality products made in smaller quantities than what is needed for a listing at the Systembolaget monopoly.
Here is a list (most certainly incomplete) of the companies selling wines and spirits directly to the Swedish consumer.
Important: if you are looking for our list of Swedish wine importers, those that primarily sell to the retail monopoly Systembolaget and to restaurants, you can find it here: The Big List of Swedish Wine Importers.
The Big List of “Swedish” Internet Wine Shops
- Atomwine, http://www.atomwine.dk/
- Bodegashop, http://www.bodegashop.com/
- Bonum Vinum, http://www.bonumvinum.se/
- Bottleshop247, http://www.bottleshop247.com
- Cavarosa, http://www.cavarosawine.se
- Caviste, http://www.caviste.se
- Cezar, http://webshop.cezarwinery.com/
- Champagneliv, http://www.champagneliv.se/
- Domaine Rabiega, http://www.rabiega.com/
- Drinko, http://www.drinko.se – no email contact address
- Ewine, http://www.ewine.dk
- Franskabolaget, http://www.franskabolaget.com/
- Goodwine, http://www.goodwine.se
- Handla Vin, http://www.handlavin.se/
- Idala Vingård, http://www.idalagard.dk/
- Invinitum, http://www.invinitum.com/
- Italian Tradition, http://www.italiantradition.com
- Italian Wine Bar, http://www.italianwinebar.se
- Italienska Magasinet, http://www.italienskamagasinet.se
- Kvalitetsvin, http://www.kvalitetsvin.se/
- Matochvinklubben, http://www.matochvinklubben.se/
- Personliga Viner, http://www.personligaviner.se/
- Roberson Wine, http://www.robersonwine.se/
- Scanbolaget, http://www.scanbolaget.com
- Spritovin, http://www.spritovin.eu
- Spritovinshopen, http://www.spritovinshopen.com/ – no email contact address
- Sydafrikanska Vinklubben, https://www.sydafrikanskavinklubben.se/
- Terra del Vino, http://vinitalien.se/
- tegaloB, http://www.tegalob.com/
- The Wine Company / Hawesko / Hanseatisches Wein & Sekt Konto, www.the-wine-company.se
- Vinboden, http://www.vinboden.com
- Vineo, www.vineo.se
- Vingrossen, http://www.vingrossen.com
- Vinlådan, http://www.vinladan.nu/
- Vinoch, http://www.vinoch.se
- Vinoteket, http://vinoteket.se/ and Fine Wine Society, http://www.finewinesociety.se/
Ex-Mark’s Viner, ex-Australian Wine Club, run by Vintjansten AB (previously by Antipodes Premium Wines Ltd) that also operates:
- Malmö Aviation Wine Club, http://www.malmoaviationwineclub.se/
- Dagens Industris Vinklubb, http://www.divinklubb.se
- Allt om Mat Vinklubb, http://www.alltommatvinklubb.se
- Privata Affärer Vinklubb, http://www.pafvinklubb.se
- Mathem, http://www.mathem.se/varor/dryck-o-vin
- Veckans Affarer Vinklubb, http://www.vawineclub.se
Voltaire Vinklubb, http://www.voltairevinklubb.se(inactive?)
and perhaps more?
- Vinovero, http://www.vinovero.se/
- VinRvi, http://www.vinrvi.com/
- Vinsajten, http://www.vinsajten.com
- Vinstocken, http://www.vinstocken.se/
- Vinupplevelser, http://vinupplevelser.se/
- Wine Finder, http://www.winefinder.dk/
- Xwine, http://www.xwine.se/
Do you know of more?
Do you have any experience with any of them?
Write a comment!
This post is also available in: Swedish