13 country openings and store of the year: JYSK globetrotter celebrates 30th anniversary
On 1 November 2020, Store Manager Thomas Hinze celebrates his 30th anniversary in JYSK. For more than 20 years, he has been Store Manager in Sønderborg, Denmark, while he has also travelled the world opening new JYSK stores. Overall, he has helped open the first JYSK store in 13 countries.
30 years ago, a young man named Thomas Hinze did not really know what he wanted to do. However, he saw a job advertisement for management trainees in DÄNISCHES BETTENLAGER in Germany, and he gave it a try. That was the starting point of a long career in JYSK for 50-year-old Thomas, who celebrates his 30th anniversary on 1 November.
During his career, Thomas has been Store Manager in three different stores, before he landed in Sønderborg, Denmark, where he has been Store Manager for more than 20 years. Furthermore, he has been travelling the world with JYSK, where he has helped open stores primarily in new Franchise countries.
”My wife doesn’t want to hear it, but JYSK is my second home. I have always been happy going to work, and I have always had to face new challenges. It has been an incredible journey from cardboard boxes in the stores and order placement by phone to the best-looking stores that we have today,” says Thomas.
17 countries in total
Even though Thomas has been 20 years in the same store, not everything has been business as usual. Thomas has been the go-to guy for the Franchise department, when JYSK was about to open in a new country. Thanks to that, Thomas has participated in 13 different country openings, while he has also helped open stores in four already established JYSK countries.
While abroad, he has had the overall responsibility that the stores were built in line with the JYSK concepts, and he has been responsible for training the employees, who often have not had any knowledge of JYSK. His first journey took him to Vilnius in Lithuania, followed by Kosovo, Ukraine, Vietnam and many more. Especially Kosovo has had huge importance for Thomas.
”I have become a part of the franchisee’s family. We have always had a good connection, and I’m nearly always invited to new store openings. My latest visit was in February, when the first store was converted to the 3.0 store concept, and it was funny to see how most of the people are the same as 15-17 years ago. It made me very proud,” says Thomas.
Store of the year
Thomas was also very proud when his store in Sønderborg won the ”Store of the year” award in Denmark for the financial year 2018/19.
”The store means everything to me, and it was a big moment for me and my colleagues to win the award after several times being second or third. It was like winning the Champions League final for us,” says Thomas.
In the future, Thomas hopes that he and his employees will be able to win more Champions League titles. However, he is still full of wanderlust and will be ready on the phone next time Franchise Director Frederik Kroun calls.
”I am happy in JYSK Sønderborg and I love running my store. Nevertheless, I am always ready for a new adventure. Frederik knows that he can always call me,” says Thomas.