JYSK – Solid Values

Undaunted by the pandemic, Danish retail giant JYSK is forging ahead with plans to aggressively expand the store network throughout its key markets.

JYSK, the fast-expanding home retail chain, has not been shaken by the pandemic – quite the contrary, the company announced record sales for 2020 in the UK and Ireland, and its overall global performance was exceptionally good last year, as the company generated global turnover of 4.1 billion EUR.

This growth is owed to a large extent to increased online sales, new store openings and a general uplift in consumers investing in their homes, undoubtedly supported by the rising popularity of the Scandinavian ‘cosy living’ concept.

Roni Tuominen, Country Manager for the UK and Ireland, says that the company reached a fantastic milestone just a few weeks ago when opening its 3,000th store – an event which was celebrated across all JYSK countries.

But that is not the end, he affirms. “The company founder Mr Larsen, who sadly passed away last year, insisted that we are heading towards our goal of 5,000 stores. While we are celebrating this recent achievement, we continue to be very much focused on expansion, despite the pandemic that has had a massive impact on businesses all around the world.”

JYSK has been one of the few businesses that has been spared the pandemic’s devastating effects. Despite a challenging year for the retail market, with enforced store closures during lockdown periods, over 860,000 customers (a 55% year-on-year increase) in the UK & Ireland chose to shop at the Scandinavian retail chain.

Roni Tuominen comments: “Our sales during the multiple lockdowns showed that many people are choosing to invest in their homes this year rather than spending money on going out or on holiday. With the difficulties of the pandemic continuing, people are creating their perfect home environments, where they can feel safe and comfortable, and at JYSK, we are happy to be able to assist with that.”

A good deal

JYSK is an international retail chain that sells ‘everything for the home’, and is owned by the family behind the Lars Larsen Group. The company was founded in 1979 by Lars Larsen, known throughout Denmark as one of the country’s best-known and most industrious businessmen.

He opened his first store in Denmark in the country’s second-largest city of Aarhus – where, incidentally, it is still located – with great ambitions, although he himself could hardly foresee how quickly the business would grow globally. Today, JYSK has over 3,000 stores in 51 countries around the world. Although a global business today, the company is proud of its Scandinavian roots, reflected in its company culture and the way it does business.

The word ‘JYSK’ has always been intentionally included in the company name. In Danish ‘JYSK’ designates anything or – like Lars Larsen himself – anybody from the Jutland peninsula, and it is often associated with modesty, thoroughness and honesty – three values that Larsen himself always identified with. JYSK stands for trustworthiness, and a deal is always a deal.

In what way is JYSK different from other Nordic retailers promoting a similar theme of clean, simple, affordable products for home and garden, that has so rapidly caught up with consumers around the world?

Roni Tuominen says: “We are a small-store concept, which gives us the opportunity to have stores in smaller towns. Of course, we are present in large cities like Stockholm, Copenhagen and Helsinki, but I have just opened a store in Ireland in a town of just 9,000 people. This approach enables us to get closer to our customers, which is something our large competitors cannot do.”

Affordable and sustainable

Although represented globally, the company has more or less the same strategy for each country, he says. “Most of our 3,000 stores are very similar in terms of portfolio in a conceptual way. We offer one assortment with just small local adjustments to make sure that the concept works across different countries and cultures, from Germany and Spain to Indonesia.”

The brand has earned a worldwide reputation for expertise and knowledge in sleep culture and specialises in sleeping products created by experts, from mattresses, duvets, and pillows, to bedframes and bases. Although this is the business’s core, JYSK today offers the total home and garden concept.

Suppliers are an integral part of the company’s reputation, and quality and reliability of the supply chain have been high on JYSK’s agenda for a long time.

JYSK has been a member of FSC since 2006 and as of January 2022 all new products launched by the company will be made of FSC-certified wood; this will be the case for all JYSK products by the end of 2024. The company is also set to change to FSC-certified raw materials in packaging.

Amongst the wide range of other sustainability-focused measures, the company has decided to remove all single-use plastic from its product assortment, and to use only recycled plastic in its products.

“Reduce, reuse, recycle” is a big topic in our company, and we generally focus on the environment and use of resources when we make all decisions. We work to minimise our use of energy and emissions of CO2 both in operations and in our distribution centres,” says Roni Tuominen.

Continued expansion

Roni Tuominen affirms that the company is firmly set on heading towards Mr Larsen’s ambitious vision. “We are strengthening our position in all of our markets. In addition to our established Nordic territory where we have hundreds of shops, we see good opportunities in all countries and all cultures.”

He explains that JYSK will continue to push forward with its expansion plan of opening a further ten stores in the UK and eight in Ireland, with the ultimate goal of increasing the number to 50 across both countries by the end of financial year 2022,

“But this is not only about the UK and Ireland, we are expanding in all markets. We believe that investment in homes is going to continue on way past the pandemic and we are ready to support that.”

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