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Boots pharmacies to open in Sweden

Tom Sullivan · 24 Jan 2010, 13:48

Published: 24 Jan 2010 13:48 GMT+01:00

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"Alliance Boots is the best possible partner for Farmacevtföretagarna and for our entrepreneurs. Boots is a leading brand in the pharmacy business with a wide range of products and high professional standards," said Sverker Littorin, chairman of Farmacevtföretagarna, in a statement.

In November 2009, the Swedish state opened up the country's previously state-owned pharmacy sector to competition, selling more than half of an estimated 900 state-owned Apoteket pharmacy stores. The first privately owned pharmacy was inaugurated by Swedish Health and Social Affairs minister, Göran Hägglund, earlier this month.

The government has argued that ending the state-owned monopoly will lower prices, improve service and increase the number of pharmacies and availability of medicines to the public. Sweden has a below average number of pharmacies per head of population compared to many other European countries.

Opponents of the privatization have criticized the de-regulation of the sector, claiming that most of the new pharmacies are owned by venture capital companies based in the Channel Island tax haven of Jersey.

Story continues below…

Tom Sullivan (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

15:14 January 24, 2010 by roch
Let's hope that they have all the products and range as in the UK!!!! AND for the same price! No Swedish prices PLEASE!!!! God I miss Boots. I have been ordering online from a UK online pharmacy for the last 2 years. Even with postage is substantially cheaper than buying the same stuff here! If Boots open with the great selection they have in the UK then I know I will be in heaven!
15:23 January 24, 2010 by vladd777
I feel the same way! Way to go Boots 8)
15:43 January 24, 2010 by Nemesis
Good, competition on the high street.

Whne they open I will compare the prices directly and see how they stack up.
17:10 January 24, 2010 by Beavis
Yep please no Bööts.. last thing thats needed is Apotek II

The Uk version wold be great
18:45 January 24, 2010 by Skåneräv
Finally! I also hope they bring a full version of the UK Boots, with the meal deal as well, lunchtimes solved. Sadly I suppose it will be just a pharmacy.
20:22 January 24, 2010 by Tennin
Sweet, we're gonna have Boots here!
22:03 January 24, 2010 by Kevin Walker
Thank god atlast!Something english,much better than swedish pharmacies will ever be.All we need now is Tescos and get a decent choice of food over here.that would be sheer heaven,unfortunatley I dont see that happening in the near future.
00:14 January 25, 2010 by xykat
I look forward to it especially if they have American and English products. I will never go to Apotek again once Boots gets here! YIPEE!!!!
01:43 January 25, 2010 by franny66
bad idea you cannot not help the swedes, look at ford and GM, it well always turn against you...this is not a multi cultural country only the Germans can invest in Sweden with any success... English speaking countries no way...to much racism, too much like eastern Europe..too much baggage and bad education
03:10 January 25, 2010 by Davey-jo
@ franny66

It's only Boots the Chemists; not an invading army. Perhaps you should take a powder or something, dear, and relax.
08:41 January 25, 2010 by dammen
Boots in Sweden - what a luxury, ceratinly would be cheaper and the range!

Personally, I would love to see Asda (great for kid's clothes) here too alongside Tesco's and with all the trimming like home food delivery for those of us who live outside large cities
08:48 January 25, 2010 by Kevin Harris
Apoteket will have to raise its game if it's going to keep up with Boots. Good.

Tesco's in Sweden must be ICA and COOP's worst nightmare. The English used to pay the Vikings not to come to England. Maybe ICA and COOP pay Tescos not to come to Sweden.
10:29 January 25, 2010 by SaxSymbol73
Personally, I'll take the higher prices to not live in a society like the UK or the US. Clerks in those places are monkeys hired to stuff shelves and collect money, and are nowhere near the standard of training at a Swedish Apoteket.

Privatization in theory is a good thing, but what was really so terrible about Apoteket? Can anyone tell me explain to me why paying more for aspirin, which in turn funds better social programs, is so awful? Luck at what a bloody mess the UK and US are, and then explain to me why that private enterprise is so good for society.

Coming from the US (the land of 24 hour super pharmacies) I really don't understand the appeal. Lots and lots of stuff means nothing if you don't make enough to buy it--all of you hooting and hollering for privatization had better hope that when the wage inequality hits here that you're not impacted by it.
11:12 January 25, 2010 by Bolshie
Privatisation is never the answer. It would have been lot better for Apoteket to have longer opening hours rather than opening the market to rapacious multinationals like Boots.

The UK has become a nightmare of corporate blandness. Every high Street looks the same with predatory chains such as Tescos, Starbucks and others colonising whole areas and driving smaller local shops out of business.

One thing I like about sweden and some other European countries is that this has not quite happened to the same extent. So please Swedes resist! Do not use the UK as an example, keep Tescos, Starbucks and others out! Stick to Apoteket, Systembolaget, Coop, etc. But longer opening hours and better variety would be nice.
11:59 January 25, 2010 by Beavis
Bolshie! Every Swedish high street looks the same, have you not noticed that?! Surely Poop and ICA have already driven the smaller shops a long time ago??

A tescos type shop is badly needed as Poop and ICa do not compete head on, they have a monopoly, with Hemshop (same crap) and a Swedishized Lidl.

Dont give me that rubbish about Apotek staff being well trained. You will find the new boots staff in Sweden equally as trained. ICA and Poop have good opening hours (one of the only good thigs they have) But they refse to rotate their stock (hence very little is fresh) and offer little variety. Privatization is not always good, BUT competition IS good. If Apotek are doing such a good job as you say, then Boots wont be able to compete against it according to your agruement.
13:10 January 25, 2010 by Kaethar
Well said SaxSymbol73. l for one will be sure to boycott any medical store that is not Apoteket. :)
13:26 January 25, 2010 by mnotme
I will boycott Boots as long as they continue to sell homeopathic "medicine".

13:31 January 25, 2010 by foxpur
Having used both both Boots and Apoteket I find Boots to have a better variety and prices to meet my needs. Often what is regular items for Boots can't be found at Apoteket.

It has little to do with where they come from but that how good they are.
13:43 January 25, 2010 by Marc the Texan
Boots is far better than Apoteket. Privatization works well. I'm not saying t works for everything. Obviously social welfare is run better by the state, but why should the government be in the pharmacy business or the liquor business and stifle innovation in those industries by keeping a state monopoly?
15:18 January 25, 2010 by krigeren
Looking forward to boots arriving. Tesco would be nice as well. A decent curry...yes I aim for the stars.
16:14 January 25, 2010 by Bolshie
I agree about Swedish High Streets being homogenised as well. This is the inevitable result neo-liberal of corporate capitalist dominance and is more or less happening all over the place. I also think that Swedish supermarkets stock is crap and expensive, apart from coffee that is! But having said that as my main leisure pursuit is sitting in cafes and people watching Sweden really does have some cool independent cafes with great coffee and cakes. In that I must say that in that they do excel. These hardly exist in the UK, thanks to domination of Starbucks and other similar chains and hanging out in a booze free place watching the world go by seems an alien concept to most Brits!

My point in privatisation is not the answer, but as an unrepentant commie I would say that wouldn't I?

The solution is to increase the quality of stock at the co-ops and state owned chemists not privatise them. Oh and there is no off licence in the whole of the UK and Ireland that have s great stock as the system shops, I challenge anyone to disagree wit this. The main problem is their opening hours. But then do you guys really want all the crap that all 24 hour cheap booze has done to the quality of life here? There must be a happy medium somewhere?
16:39 January 25, 2010 by lel
What we need is Waitrose....some quailty food produced by non-exploited farmers. Boots is fantastic but I doubt if we will see Boots prices here in Sweden. Hats off to them if we do as a cheap packet of paracetamol would be bliss. So for the moment I do all my pharmacy shopping in the UK when I visit and bring the Lemsip, painkillers and beauty products back here in my suitcase. As for System Bolaget - I agree it offers a fantastic choice but just needs to open longer in the evening - until 8pm would be fine.

And by the way, don't you miss Marks & Spencer's food departments? The outsanding desserts at lower prices than the Saluhall. Your M&S...
01:15 January 26, 2010 by Kevin Walker
Please do not mention marks and spencers ,youll make me cry.

I have lived here for 15 years,and I must say the choice of food in every Supermarket is almost identical,The vegetables,Ftuit and veg especially in the smalle

Supermarkets is not very fresh , tasty or either rotten.And as for Frozen food,the same exact choice .Where is the individuality in this?Tesco has expanded all around

the world,I think they may have tried to come to

Sweden,but it was probably stopped by the government or all the other supermarkets,because they know with a huge wide choice of food ,they will all be out of business.
10:34 January 26, 2010 by pcs
What no Sainsbury fans among you. Surely a one stop shop like Sainsbury's with an excellent product range and opening hours and a chemist would give ICrAp and POOP something to think about!

Oh and one other thing Systembolaget, should get with the programme and improve opening ours like Sundays. Otherwise when the break up like Apoteket comes and it will come eventually, Virgin wines, Majestic, Odd bins elitist stuck up w#nkers and countless others are waiting in the wings to take over. Which will mean say good bye to another Swedish "house hold name" like SAAB!!!!
13:47 January 26, 2010 by lel
PCS, I do like Sainsburys as well. I bet you Tescos and the like don't come to Sweden because of the labour laws. Systembolaget does, however, have a fantastic range of wine. I do not want to have lots of shops with crap wine - cheap Californian and Australian rubbish that masquerades as wine. Too often when I go wine shopping in the UK, I can't get a decent bottle of something unusual. Oddbins usually meets the mark however. Good online wine clubs are what is needed here.

I don't want Tesco here. They exploit producers and in some business circles have apparently a dodgy reputation for their willingness to rob others of ideas and technology.

Kevin, sorry if I made you cry. M&S is more important than the royal family and the pound put together. Feeling homesick myself now...
00:19 January 27, 2010 by Kevin Walker
I think M&S is the very best food,but also the most expensive,so You can only dream about then ever coming over here.Does Anyone else share the same view as me,about the poor choice of food inthe Supermarkets,and that they all stock the same food even if it is there own brands.One would think you would be able to find

good thick bacon,instead of that stringy crap.And yes I know there is stekfläsk,but it is not the same thing is it.You would think they would stock good old Danish Bacon being its not too far away,Denmark.
12:37 January 27, 2010 by Beavis
Agree with exactly what you say both posts Kevin. I really dont get the lack of Danish food here (even in Malmö!) Apart from the bacon my big gripe is with the butter Swedish "smör" is revolting. Whatever chemicals they put in it make it gross. I brig my own kerrygold and dairygold from Ireland, but Danish butter tastes just as good. I know Arla used to have the monopoly..but find it strange why the DAnes havent trie dot sell in Sweden. There is a market thats for sure. Any Swede Ive known here has said yes "smor" is really good here. Then Ive given them the Irish butter on bread or cooked some fish with it and all have then told me how much better it is than "smor"

Id welcome ant Tesco/Sainsburys type supermarket and would travel 20 mins further to get to one. Would be happer with M&S/Superquinn, evena Dunnes Stores, anythign but Poop,ICrAp,Willys/Hemshop/other rubbish swedish supermarket selling same rotten crap
14:25 January 27, 2010 by pcs

I do not want to have lots of shops with crap wine - cheap Californian and Australian rubbish that masquerades as wine. Too often when I go wine shopping in the UK, I can't get a decent bottle of something unusual. Good online wine clubs are what is needed here.

I agree with you totally. If we had Virgin Wines or Laithwaites wine clubs here the competition would help reduce the prices in systembolaget who as you said do have a good range of wines.


I get the same reaction when I serve English sausages or Branston pickle

There is a market out there waiting to be exploited folks!

Hurra for SAAB. Sorry nothing to do with boots but as a Saab owner, besides this country and the beautiful country side I love my car!
09:25 March 19, 2010 by daxmaryrussel
@roch - I totally agree, however I always go to UK to shop at Boots, they don't deliver to Sweden :( How do you do it?
15:37 July 15, 2010 by Popsiedoodle
My experience of some of the larger city Apotek stores, particularly at the dispensing side, is that there is rather poor customer focus. So often I am standing in a HUGE que whilst one person serves and 2 (or I've even seen 3) young assistants 'float' around in the background opening and closing drawers, gazing intently at whatever and generally ignoring the waiting public. Perhaps customers are beneath them?

The que too seems most often to consist of the older generation, whom I feel in general are conditioned to do no more about such bad service than role their eyes. It's a shame that Swede's have accepted such rudeness as the norm.

Perhaps Boots et al will show the waiting public a bit of respect!
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