STOCKHOLM – Amazon has launched a website in Sweden as the first leg of a long-anticipated expansion into the tech-savvy Nordic region that is expected to have a major long-term impact on brick-and-mortar stores and e-commerce.
The U.S. e-commerce giant said Swedish customers can shop for more than 150 million products in 30 categories on amazon.se. It’s the Seattle-based online retailer’s seventh European website; Amazon also operates local sites in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and the U.K.
“Today is only the start of amazon.se. We will continue to work hard to earn the trust of Swedish customers by growing our product range, ensuring low prices, and providing a convenient and trusted shopping experience,” Amazon Vice-President for European Expansion Alex Ootes said in a statement.
Customers from Sweden and other Nordic countries have until now shopped on Amazon using the company’s German and U.K. sites, but faced higher delivery costs. Amazon said it would offer free delivery for orders above 229 kronor ($26) to users of the new Swedish site.
“Will Amazon increase consumption, or will it (consumption) just move from one store to another? That is probably the bigger question, really,” Peter Hesslin, head of e-commerce and logistics at the Danish-Swedish delivery and postal company PostNord, told Swedish news agency TT.
Ootes told TT that the Amazon already has “several hundreds” of employees in Sweden.
Nordic news outlets earlier reported that Amazon was building a major logistics centre in Eskilstuna, a town 100 kilometres west of Stockholm.
Once the centre is completed, the company is widely expected to launch local sites and start deliveries in Denmark, Finland and Norway.