Alcohol sales to be allowed in grocery stores from April 1, 2015

No, it’s no April Fool’s joke. From 1 April 2015, it will be allowed for grocery stores to sell alcohol, wine and liquor, according to a recent decision by the government.

In order to sell alcohol, food stores must meet certain requirements. The sales may not be too dominated by alcohol. At least 75% of sales must be food. This does not apply to every purchase, but to the store’s total sales. The shops that want to sell alcohol must also have a floor space of at least 1000 sq m, which will exclude most corner convenience shops. In the shop alcohol products, wine and spirits, must be placed in a well-defined separate space to facilitate age verification.

It will be become allowed to use cooling fridges in the shops to sell cool temperate products, something that is not allowed today. It will also be permitted to sell wine and spirits on Sundays in the state-owned stores and to have longer opening hours on weekdays.

However, there will be a limited number of grocery stores that will get a license to sell beer, wine and spirits. At least initially.

The Minister of Justice has described the changes as a step to improve customer service and to improve the product offering that customers have access to, in accordance with what people generally want.

But no, if anyone thought that this was what is happening in monopoly-controlled Sweden, that is not where these customer friendly steps are taken.

It is in British Columbia (BC) in Canada that the provincial government decided to improve customer service in this way.

Read more about this here: Grocery stores allowed to sell alcohol from April 1, 2015.

And if you are interested in wine, more than just buying it in a shop, be it government owned or private, then you can join us on a wine tour to one of the world’s wine regions!

Shelves of bag-in-box at Systembolaget

Shelves of bag-in-box at Systembolaget, copyright BKWine Photography

This post is also available in: Swedish

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