From Umeå and Strömsund in the north to Trelleborg in the south, Sweden’s biggest e-retailers can be found all over the country.
As expected, Stockholm dominates the number of e-tailers, followed by peripheral municipalities such as Hanninge, Huddinge and Solna.
According to Arne Andersson at Svensk Handel, there is a logical explanation.
– Being represented in Stockholm is very important because you have a whole network of investors and other areas. In a place like Stockholm you can also get different kinds of expertise, more so than in smaller places, he says.
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However, he emphasizes that while head offices are often located in large cities, other parts of the business may be located in other cities.
– You may have logistics and warehousing elsewhere. You have an example of that in Eskilstuna, a large logistics center, where Amazon is an actor, having its warehouse there but setting up its headquarters in Stockholm.
Apart from Stockholm, Malmö and Gothenburg, three of which offer double-digit numbers of e-retailers, Borus stands out as usual on the list.
With its twelve e-tailers, the city has the highest number per capita.
– For the city of Borås, it is vital that it continues to be this center for e-commerce in Sweden. It is important for the city, the community and everyone who lives there that the city maintains its strong position. It’s an old mail order center in Sweden, and Arne Andersen says they’re good at adapting themselves to the digital world.
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The fact that so many talented e-retailers locate themselves in the same city creates synergy effects that benefit all parties, he further believes.
– Such a place will have a strong entrepreneurial spirit. They help to form good associations with like-minded people around them, and then you have the entire textile university located there. This addition means that e-retailers in Borås gain a unique ability to build these networks and relationships with each other.
He also points out that in a town like Boras there are often direct exchanges of talent between e-tailers.
– People working in these organizations exchange work and skills with each other. A person may have worked in these five companies during his career and he says:
– They know each other well, but it’s mostly different places, which means they’re not rivals in the same way.
How would you describe the conditions for conducting e-commerce in Sweden today?
– I think you have better chances. E-commerce is based on logistics, so it is important to have land for it and municipalities need to make quick decisions about it. Jönköping and Örebro are good examples of e-commerce regions, with great reputations for moving fast in land acquisition and leasing land for warehouses.
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