Ida Sundqvist runs the small Swedish wine importing company Dryckesbutiken.
”For smaller importers, that don’t have listings at the Swedish monopoly and mainly sell through restaurants, it will be hard to stay alive,” she says.
Dryckesbutiken was founded by Ida Sundqvist in 2016. The vast majority of what they import is sold through restaurants, even though some wines are also available online through ’private import’ at the Swedish monopoly, Systembolaget, or through the online shop Winefinder.
”We’ve seen a 97% loss on restaurant sales in the last two weeks. And on the monopoly, we’ve seen a 10% increase in sales,” she says.
”People don’t have time to meet, because they have to handle the crisis, so for the last few weeks, I haven’t meet any clients or had any meetings. And the contact with the producers has gone from ordering wines to just checking in to see how everyone is doing. I’ve also spent a lot of time finding solutions that might help us survive.”
What measures are you taking to secure the business for the future?
”Everyone in the company has been laid-off for now, and we’ve postponed two new employments. We’re also negotiating rents, asking for loans and asking to delay payments. We will try to reach a bigger audience of private consumers, and are focusing on launching boxes of mixed bottles for people to order through the monopoly.”
What long term effects do you think this crisis will have for Swedish importers?
”For smaller importers, that don’t have listings at the Swedish monopoly and mainly sell through restaurants, it will be hard to stay alive. Of course, it also depends on how long this crisis will last, and that we don’t know yet. But, only two weeks of this has caused a lot of damage.