• Sweden's news in English

Fresh push for longer alcohol store hours

The Local · 22 Jul 2015, 12:30

Published: 22 Jul 2015 12:09 GMT+02:00
Updated: 22 Jul 2015 12:30 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit
Carl B Hamilton, who is an economics professor and a former politician for the centre-right Liberal Party, made the controversial comments in debate article in Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter.
He argued that Systembolaget's opening hours should be "generally more flexible" and suggested that alcohol stores should catch up with supermarkets in city centres which are frequently open until 9pm or 10pm, allowing customers to shop for groceries and alcohol at the same time. 
Hamilton, who has long been on the board of directors for Systembolaget also called for branches to open on Sundays and praised the expansion of the click-and-collect service already offered by some Systembolaget stores.

A Swede heads home from a Systembolaget store. Photo: Hasse Holmberg/TT 
According to the economist, much more work needs to be done "to provide a perfect service to sober adults" by making stores more convenient and considering the preferences of sensible customers. He argued that rather than making grown-ups feel "chastized" for buying alcohol, the company should instead focus on making it "more difficult and uncomfortable for teenagers to get hold of alcohol".
However there would need to be a change in national law in order for opening hours to be changed at the state-owned company, which currently bans stores from remaining open after 8pm on weekdays and 3pm on Saturdays. And Systembolaget was quick to dismiss calls for the professor's plans to be implemented.
"The proposal that Systembolaget stores should be open on Sundays is something that Carl B Hamilton is suggesting as a politician, not in his capacity as being part of the board of directors at Systembolaget," Terese Elmgren, a press spokesperson for the company, told The Local on Wednesday.
"This is not a question that has been discussed by Systembolaget's Board of Directors and it is not something that Systembolaget's management is working on...It's the Swedish parliament that makes the decisions about Systembolaget's opening hours," she added.
Systembolaget's goal is to minimize alcohol-related problems by selling alcohol in a responsible way, without focusing on profits. Special offers and discounts such as "three for two" are banned from all stores.
Story continues below…
The company emerged from local alcohol monopolies operating in Sweden since the mid-1800s, which were merged to form a single national firm in 1955.
Support for Systembolaget remains high, with a recent poll by TNS Sifo suggesting that 77 percent of Swedes back the system.
Do you think Systembolaget stores should have longer opening hours? Post your comments below

For more news from Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Here's how slow Sweden's high-speed trains are getting
A Swedish SJX2000 high speed train. Photo: Tomas Oneborg/SvD/TT

The high-speed rail journey between the three biggest Swedish cities is about to get longer.

The Local List
12 Swedish words with just awesome literal translations
A filthy-minded lobster, i.e. a snuskhummer. Photo: Gorm Kallestad/NTB scanpix/TT

One of our favourite things about the Swedish language is its wonderful compound words, which range from being utterly bizarre to making perfect sense.

US election
Donald Trump won't get new Ericsson head's vote
Trump pictured at a campaign rally in Florida. Photo: Evan Vucci/AP

The new Swedish-American boss of telecoms giant Ericsson has revealed he will not vote for the Republican nominee in the forthcoming US presidential election.

Swedes named fourth most gender equal in the world
A file photo of men and women pushing prams in Stockholm. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

Sweden has closed 81 percent of its overall gender gap according to the World Economic Forum.

Sweden: Russian warships in the Baltic 'worrying'
Swedish Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist. Photo: Vilhelm Stokstad/TT

Two Russian warships equipped with long-range missiles have entered the Baltic Sea after passing Denmark.

Why businesses are worried about Sweden's drone ban
A drone filming in Stockholm. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

The Local investigates what Sweden's new drone ban could mean for businesses in the country.

This is the new top boss of Swedish Ericsson
Börje Ekholm. Photo: Magnus Hjalmarson Neideman/SvD/TT

Telecoms giant Ericsson has appointed a new CEO after a turbulent year for the company.

These are Sweden's best universities: ranking
A new university ranking has been released. Photo: Cecilia Larsson Lantz/Imagebank.sweden.se

At least according to this global ranking, which picks 12 Swedish universities among the top-1000.

Swedish pharmacies restrict paracetamol sales for teens
The move is intended to cut paracetamol overdoses. Photo: Nora Lorek/TT

Sweden's pharmacies are banning teens under 18 from buying more than one pack of pills at a time.

Rwandan genocide suspect held in Sweden
A memorial centre in Kigali, Rwanda. Photo: Ben Curtis/AP

A man has been arrested in Sweden suspected of involvement in the 1994 Rwandan genocide which claimed 800,000 lives.

Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Sweden cuts 2016 refugee forecast
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Is Game of Thrones coming to Sweden?
Property of the week: Kungsholmen, Stockholm
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
Will Swedes soon be looking for fairtrade porn?
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
The Local Voices
'I simply don’t believe in nationality'
Why we're convinced Game of Thrones is based on Sweden
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
People-watching: October 20th
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
jobs available