First XL store opens in Norway: "It just looks so great"
Author: Christoffer Skjødt, Communications Intern
Coffee, cake, and great offers were on the menu in September when JYSK opened the first XL store in Norway.
The wrist watch shows 07:09, when a car drives Into the car park in front of the JYSK store. The tires break through the huge puddles’ surfaces before Store Manager Jeppe Halvorsen gets out of the car. Jeppe and his team are ready to open the first XL store in Norway.
Jeppe’s eyes shine through the rainy weather, even though they cannot hide a bit of tiredness. Jeppe and his team have not had a lot of sleep during the last several weeks, while they have been readying their new XL store for the opening in Bodø on 27 September.
"I just need a cup of coffee, and then I can show you our new amazing store. It just looks so great, and everyone who helped to ready the store for today has done a fantastic job,” says Jeppe.
Help from colleagues
While the rain is pouring down and the wind picks up outside, Jeppe and his team put the last furniture in place inside the store. Even though the weather is not optimal for an opening ceremony, that can in no way spoil the good spirits from the Bodø team.
Extra staff has come from Sweden and Norway to help with the opening ceremony. Jim Arne Pettersen, who usually works in the Tromsø store, is one of the people lending a helping hand at the opening.
"It is a huge deal to be part of such an opening. I am just happy that I can help. We have had strong cooperation during the period we prepared the store for this day," says Jim Arne.
A wet beginning
Even the flourishing optimism cannot remove the dark and rainy clouds in the sky, which just before the opening at 9 transform into a rough hailstorm.
Only a few customers defy the Norwegian weather to be in the front of the queue, and the first to arrive also look a bit unsure of their decision, as the rain drips from their clothes.
"This just means that we have a better chance of getting our hands on the many great opening offers. We have a lot of things to buy," concludes Parshang, a woman in the front of the queue, who is at the opening with her husband and two friends.
"Because I was at an opening ceremony in Oslo, where people stood in long queues, we came early today. However, the weather is really not very inviting for such an opening ceremony," says Parshang, before taking shelter from the rain in her car.
Ready, set, go
Inside in a drier environment, the time is approaching nine as all employees gather. Jeppe steps forward in an atmosphere of anticipation. His peptalk cuts through the air, and it is clear that everyone is ready for the opening.
There are also more customers outside, who are just staring at the yellow ribbon separating them from being unleashed unto the store's new hunting grounds.
Ready, set, go - Jeppe cuts the yellow ribbon and Norway's first XL store is officially open. The first customers enter the shop, where employees are ready with coffee, cake, and shopping carts.
JYSK goes XL
The XL stores have a minimum of 250 square metres of additional sales space for Online Only furniture.
The XL store in Bodø is the third in the world. The other two are in Poland and Romania.
JYSK expects to open up to 20 XL stores in the financial year 2018/19.
Too small shopping carts
The rays from the sun struggle through the clouds during the day. More and more customers enter the new store equipped with coffee and cake.
Parshang, who went together with her husband and her two friends from the beginning, has also filled two big shopping carts.
"It is really a great and large store that has impressed me. It is certainly not the last time we will come for a visit, even though the shopping carts are too small," laughs Parshang.
In addition to the customers, the Norwegian local media also show great interest in the opening of the store. Therefore, the Store Manager is pleased with the opening.
"We have been looking forward to the opening for a long time, and therefore it was great to welcome customers today. Every single one of my colleagues has delivered a huge team effort. Even though we did not achieve our desired sales, we have received a lot of media coverage, and all the customers have been very positive," says Jeppe.
The wrist watch shows 20:30 and the sun is setting gently behind Bodø's forests. Jeppe and Team Bodø are tired. Now they need to head home and get some sleep to be ready for another great day tomorrow.