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Booze home delivery kicks off near Stockholm

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Booze home delivery kicks off near Stockholm
10:34 CEST+02:00
Residents in the Stockholm suburb of Sollentuna will be the first to be able to have alcohol purchases delivered straight to their front doors in a controversial pilot project carried out by state-run liquor store monopoly Systembolaget.

The service is set to get underway in Sollentuna, north of Stockholm, in November of this year.

Shortly thereafter, the service will be rolled out in the Stockholm districts of Johanneshov, Bromma and Nacka.

“The reason we have started in Stockholm is that this is where we have the capacity to carry out deliveries. We have the local authorities and other decision-makers with us in the decision to start here,” said CEO of Systembolaget Magdalena Gerger to Sveriges Radio (SR).

The home delivery of beer, wine, and spirits has been a political hot potato for some time. Four years ago it became legal for private buyers deliver alcoholic beverages straight to the door of the customers.

And a few weeks ago, the parties of the centre-right Alliance government decided to give Systembolaget the green light test the concept of home delivery.

The project will first be launched in Stockholm and followed by a number of other towns in six counties of Sweden, according to SR.

Parallel with the trial, which will go on for between a year and a half and two years, a study on how the alcohol consumption in the area is affected will be carried out.

“Within the research world it is known that an increased availability in general leads to an increase in consumption. But this particular change hasn't been assessed properly,” said scientist Mats Ramstedt of the Karolinska Institute, to SR.

It won't be Systembolaget staff that delivers the alcohol but specially trained transport staff. Upon delivery the customer must be able to show ID and can't be inebriated, conditions which also apply when making in-store purchases at Systembolaget.

However, according to Gerger the training will prepare staff to cope with any situation that may arise, even if they are standing in the door faced with a sober customer paying for the purchase but a room full of drunken people.

“We will have to make a judgement of the whole situation. If someone is obviously not sober or is buying large quantities of alcohol for a very drunk group of people, the purchase will have to be returned,” she told SR, pointing out that this is an issue the Systembolaget staff already faced daily in its stores.

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