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Apoteket rated highest by Swedish customers

Apoteket rated highest by Swedish customers

Published: 29 Nov 2010 09:27 GMT+01:00
Updated: 29 Nov 2010 09:27 GMT+01:00

Customers were least satisfied with clothing chains and home improvement stores, according to the Swedish Quality Index's (Svenskt Kvalitetsindex, SKI) autumn national retail study.

The deregulation of the pharmacy market and the flood of new competitors has made customers more satisfied with the industry compared with last year's survey. Above all, more customers think that the for counseling have improved.

Apoteket also received points for for living up to customer expectations for products and services and above all its service quality, with personal service and advice receiving high marks.

Among clothing chains, H&M once again received the lowest rating, while Dressmann came out on top.

ICA continued to lead the supermarket industry, but both Coop and Axfood increased their level of customer satisfaction, with the sector demonstrating a marked increase on the whole compared with previous years. Among large chains, City Gross and ICA Kvantum won the highest customer satisfaction rating among individual stores.

Building supply stores came in at the same levels as 2009, with Hornbach winning top marks in customer satisfaction again.

Overall, all sectors improved their image in 2009. Systembolaget especially received higher marks for product quality and value. Grocery stores earned significantly higher values in terms of service, but also value for money. Meanwhile, pharmacies increased in perceived service quality, but fell in products and loyalty.

Systembolaget climbed several spots in this year's satisfaction ratings and has risen for the seventh straight year.

More than 300,000 interviews were conducted, including about 4,000 interviews with private clients for grocery stores, pharmacies, clothing chains, building suppliers and Systembolaget from October 14th to November 22th by PFM Research.

SKI has conducted regular surveys on customer satisfaction and the quality of private and public sectors since 1989. Research and development is conducted at both the Swedish Institute for Quality (Institutet för Kvalitetsutveckling, SIQ) and Stockholm School of Economics.

Vivian Tse (vivian.tse@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

11:09 November 29, 2010 by Craptastical
It's funny that Systemet received higher marks. What exactly were they compared to?

Oh that's right. They have no competition, so Swedes don't have anything to compare Systemet to (and never have) save for what they have access to when they're on holiday outside of Sweden. Open up the door for real competition and Swedes would see fairly quickly that Systemet's selection is *very* limited when it comes to what's actually stocked on shelves (special orders don't count).
11:45 November 29, 2010 by TwoToTango
Every other chain of every other genre in terms of customer service and variety of its selection I'm guessing?
12:22 November 29, 2010 by Beavis
Now thats what I call effective state brainwashing, Stalin would be so proud!
13:00 November 29, 2010 by Borilla
Quick, all the outlanders fight the idea that a state run retail outlet is viewed favorably. The fact that the major complainers are the brokers (and their legislative mouth pieces)who want to eliminate the Syatem so that they can immediately raise prices and "improve" competition is beside the point. They want to privatize the System and the Apoteket, so that they can "improve" service the same way they "improved" rail service. There is an old saying in the US that certainly applies here: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
13:45 November 29, 2010 by mojofat
Yes, the brainwashing must be strong. I had a friendly discussion with a swede who absolutely insisted that systembolaget had a fantastic selection. Even though my neighborhood liquor store (and every other liquor store for that matter) in San Diego, CA had 10x what systembolaget has...and for a fraction of the price I might add...it made no difference in his mind. To him, nothing really compared to systembolaget in terms of selection.

It's funny the two identified as ranking high are the two that I've found the most sorely lacking. Systembolaget is horrible...the selection is miserly and the prices are high. Apoteks have pretty horrible selection as well. I can't even buy NyQuil here?! Really? What about Extra Strength Tylenol? No? What a joke!

I guess it's all relative though. If you're used to having nothing, then I can see how one would be impressed...if you're from any other western nation, then I can see how you would be disappointed.
14:09 November 29, 2010 by Rishonim
"Grocery stores earned significantly higher values in terms of service, but also value for money."

Is that statement a joke? You can't even get proper fruits or veggies at any one of those joints. The stuf they sell is disgusting
15:29 November 29, 2010 by alingsaskev
This really is hilarious!

In further shock news The Local was voted best English Language Swedish News Site, Swedish OAPs were revealed to be the Worlds friendliest, and Köttbullar, Mös and Lyngonsylt was voted the worlds favourite delicacy!
18:53 November 29, 2010 by Kaethar
@mojofat: Or it's simply immigrants/expats comparing everything in Sweden to back home and finding faults in everything Swedish. This is stage 3 of the culture shock model and is known as the Re-integration Stage. :)
19:10 November 29, 2010 by mojofat
@kaethar...ha, well I suppose it could come off as like that. But I've actually been very pleased by everything else here. Really, it's just the liquor store, the drug store and the banks that seem to be third world. Everything else is quite nice! :)

BTW, the swedes that were present and had traveled abroad agreed with me that Systembolaget has slim pickings and overcharges for what it does have.
20:52 November 29, 2010 by Acroyear
If you have any kind of taste for decent wine and spirits, Systembolaget is fantastic.

Coming from England, I'm not indoctrinated. I know what the alternative is and it certainly isn't "more choice". Systembolaget has helped me develop my palate because the staff actually know something about wine.

If price is all you're concerned about, make your own or take a ferry or lobby the govt. to lower taxes - you big bunch of winos!!!
22:20 November 29, 2010 by mojofat
Sorry, but I was looking for a California wine the other day and they had none. California is the 4th largest wine producer in the world and Systembolaget hasn't even one bottle? I'm not looking for a BV Private Reserve...I don't expect there to be top quality here...but not even a Robert Mondavi or a Sterling Reserve? Not even one cabernet from California?? I'll settle for something from the Temecula wine country even! If England is worse there must be a national masochistic streak there, because I'm sure the UK could afford the good stuff.

And the bourbon selection is a joke. There was one dusty bottle of Maker's Mark, which is good and I like (at the price they were charging I'm afraid to drink it though), and a couple bottles of Jim Beam but that was it. I'll live, but when people make this crazy claim that Systembolaget has a good selection I have to take exception. They do not. They have the selection befitting a government run bureaucracy, not an organization that knows anything about the fine art of spirits.
23:51 November 29, 2010 by mkvgtired
For all of you complaining about the "evils" of a private companies running a liquor store, I would just like to use a local example for me. By they way they are 9 times out of 10 cheaper than a grocery store. If you go to the Binny's website and search California wines it returns over 1700 results. Granted some are special order but judging from what I see in the stores i would bet 30% of that selection is in stock. Not to mention several hundreds if not thousands of different kinds of spirits and beers in stock, and fine cigars. If you dont like that you can go to the (union ran) grocery store with 1/100th the selection and higher prices, or many smaller liquor stores, or Sam's which has a similar selection to Binny's. Private ownership is not all bad.
01:11 November 30, 2010 by Acroyear
@ mojofat I've got to admire the sheer audacity of anyone who can combine the words "bourbon" and "fine art of spirits" in the same post! You've got to get out into the countryside and try some homemade spirit - a pint or so'll put enough fire in your belly to keep you warm all winter. You won't care about old Jim Beam!

@ mkvgtired Binnys is American, yeah? And their staff are really well informed, yeah? They'll match the wine to food, work from your proposed expenditure, etc. And they offer a helpline like Systemet that gives expert advice on the whole range of drinks and also food to go with them, yeah?

Well my friend, we're on the edge of civilisation here and a long way from Cali - but while you're here, why not take a chance and try a few European wines. Post 2005 vintages mostly contain very little antifreeze, thank God!

Unfortunately, the bottom fell out of the market for Californian wines after that film, "Sideways". I remember witnessing Swedes in the cinema puking their guts out, farting uncontrollably and crapping their pants at the terrible acting and plot and vowing that they'd rather drink the juice from a tin of fermented herring than go near another bottle of Californian wine.
10:05 November 30, 2010 by Rick Methven
@mojofat

You are so up yourself with the desire to have everything American No extra strength Tylenol LOL

Tylenol is only a brand name for the drug paracetamol which you can buy in various strengths in the Apotek or in most supermarkets.

As far as Systembolaget is concerned, breaking up the System would not reduce prices but increase them as alcohol taxes would remain the same but the buying power and economies of scale that the state monopoly has would be lost.
10:34 November 30, 2010 by krattan
@mojofat

Bear in mind that you have to compare a liquor store in a comparable city and area. San Diego is larger than Stockholm so it is expected to have stores with better selection. There are certainly differences between Systembolaget stores also where the selection adheres to the composition of residents in the area. So it all boils down to where you live and what other Systembolaget stores you could choose. Try some better area for wines and some other for bourbon. :D
23:04 November 30, 2010 by mojofat
@Rick Methven ...paracetamol! Thanks for the tip!

Just so everyone knows, I don't give two $hitz if something is from the USA or not. It can be from North Korea for all I care, as long as it's good quality and wasn't made with slave labor or the penis of some endangered species. ;-)

I've been drinking french wine btw...it's one of two things I've found that is cheaper here. Broadband being the other.
05:19 December 2, 2010 by mkvgtired
I was not knocking European wine at all. I like rich dry reds so there are plenty of European wines that I love. And Binny's carries a wide range of European wines as well as wines from all over the world. I had a wine at a wine bar from a very small South African winery, and Binny's was able to track it down for me and order me some. Yes they are very well informed and can pair wine and food. Maybe if the System was allowed to continue operation and have a private company compete along side them then it would be a good experiment. Let the best one win and the worst fail. My only point was that private ownership is not so bad.
10:54 May 23, 2011 by AMGunn
it seems this argument is solved simply by looking at the behavior of the Swedes themselves; if they prefer, when they can, to go abroad so as to find the alcohol varieties they prefer, such as whiskys they cannot find here, then I think that says it all. When we want to drink what we truly like, we have to leave Sweden, since what we like cannot be found locally. I don't know why that isn't just simply an obvious truth? When I first came here, it seemed a bit more like Russia and a bit less like the UK, and I would think that was so obvious as to be not something one has to either argue or defend? It's just simply the way it is. It's clearly a state-run institution, with a very limited selection, obviously chosen for certain reasons. I know that in my own country, and in the state I live in, the selection that's available in the Systembolaget we go to would be representative of only a small fraction of what's available to the rest of the world. I used to work for a French wine importer, and I know what's not on the Systembolaget shelves. One learns to live with what is available or to go outside of the country to obtain what you want, but pretending Sweden is awash in choice is nonsensical. No, it's not.
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