Amazon starts preparations to launch in Sweden

FILE PHOTO: An Amazon worker delivers packages
FILE PHOTO: An Amazon worker delivers packages amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Denver, Colorado, U.S., April 22, 2020. REUTERS/Kevin Mohatt/File Photo

August 4, 2020

(Reuters) – Amazon.com Inc has started preparations to launch in Sweden, marking its first step to establish a local presence in a Nordic country.

Swedish customers can already shop on Amazon through its websites in other European countries such as Germany, and get their purchases shipped to the country, but this often meant paying high delivery charges.

“We are optimistic that, by focusing on the things we believe customers will place the greatest emphasis on – low prices, a wide range and fast deliveries – we will eventually be able to win the trust of Swedish customers,” Alex Ootes, vice president for EU Expansion at Amazon, said on Tuesday,

The Swedish website amazon.se was still directing customers to amazon.de with an option to deliver to Sweden. Amazon has not released a date for the launch of the website, a spokesman said.

Amazon did not say if it would create a warehouse or distribution hub in Sweden but Ootes said: “The next step is to introduce a complete retail offering in Sweden and that is what we plan to do now”.

Logistics group Kuehne and Nagel told Reuters it was building a contract logistics facility in Eskilstuna, about 100 km west of Sweden’s capital Stockholm.

The probable entry of Amazon into Sweden has been talked about for years and could represent a challenge to local players.

Daniel Ovin, senior analyst at Nordea, said that based on a report written in October autoparts, sporting goods and general merchandise would be the most exposed sectors after an Amazon entry in the Nordics.

Ovin added that retailers in United States, Britain, Germany and France that have adopted successful strategies to meet the challenge from Amazon have turned to premium products, sharpened their delivery mechanisms, increased private labels or added brands that were not sold on Amazon.

Shares of budget DIY and homewares retailer Clas Ohlson, fashion specialist Boozt AB, and e-books seller Storytel edged lower.

(Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee and Simon Johnson in Stockholm, with Tommy Lund in Gdansk; Editing by David Holmes and David Evans)