Vínbúðin Liquor Stores Report Record Sales

Vala Hafstað

Vínbúðin liquor stores, the sole retail vendor of alcohol in Iceland, report record sales in 2020, according to Morgunblaðið. There are 51 such stores operated, 14 of them in the capital area.

Counted in liters, sales of alcoholic beverages increased from 23 million liters in 2019 to nearly 27 million liters in 2020, or by 18 percent.

Sigrún Ósk Sigurðardóttir, assistant director of Vínbúðin stores, attributes this increase in sales mainly to the COVID-19 pandemic: much fewer people visited the Duty Free Store at Keflavík International Airport than in an average year, and bars and restaurants had limited operating hours, or were forced to close, for much of the year. Most Icelanders didn’t travel abroad, but traveled domestically instead, while the number of foreign tourists who visited Iceland was drastically down.

Record sales for the year were reported December 30, when 43,700 customers purchased 286,000 liters of alcoholic beverages. Ranking number two was December 23 with 256,000 liters sold, followed by Wednesday before Easter, when 237,000 liters were sold.

Counted in liters, sales of pilsner and lager increased by 14.7 percent compared to 2019, of ale by 28 percent and of other types of beer by 54 percent. Red wine sales increased by 32 percent and those of white wine by 23 percent. Among stronger beverages, the sales of gin and jenever increased the most, or by 40 percent, followed by the sales of whiskey, which increased by 32 percent.

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