Frederik celebrates 25 years in JYSK Franchise
Author: Martin Fyn Aamand, Communications & PR Manager, JYSK
On Friday 1 July, it is 25 years since Franchise Director Frederik Kåre Kroun started in JYSK.
"Where have they gone?"
That is the answer - or in fact the question - when you ask 51-year-old Frederik Kåre Kroun what he thinks about the fact that he can now celebrate his 25th anniversary in JYSK.
"Time flies when you are having fun," he adds.
Why have you stayed for so long?
“Because JYSK is a fantastic company that is based on good values such as doing right and taking responsibility. JYSK has so much to offer with personal development and new challenges," says Frederik and adds: " I just love JYSK."
"Get started, Frederik"
Frederik still remembers his first day on the job, which was 1 July 1997. The first meeting of the day was with Jan Bøgh, current President & CEO of JYSK, and then Frederik went to Vejle to see JYSK's warehouse followed by a visit to the finance department in Aarhus. Frederik himself was to sit in the office in Odense.
However, it is not on Funen or for that matter in Denmark that Frederik has made the biggest mark on JYSK. When he started in 1997, there were five franchise countries. Today, the number is 22, widely distributed around the globe - from the first store in Greenland to the latest in Azerbaijan.
"Before a franchisee gets our brand - or our 'child' - in their hands, we must be sure that they share JYSK's values."
- Frederik Kåre Kroun, Franchise Director
"The Tradesman, as we call Lars Larsen, once said to me: 'Get started, Frederik' - and I did. If we found a potential franchisee with the right values and enough money in the bank, then we built some stores. At that time, we drew the stores with a pencil on a piece of paper, and the franchisee had much more freedom with the assortment,” says Frederik.
Today, according to Frederik, the franchise countries are "much closer to JYSK's concept".
Understanding of cultural differences
The first store that Frederik himself helped build was the very first JYSK store in Ukraine.
“I had been in JYSK for three weeks, then I had to go to Ukraine and build a store. I did not know a thing about building a JYSK store, but I learned a lot from it, not least about differences in cultures,” says Frederik.
Understanding other cultures has been crucial to Frederik's work with Franchise.
"Before a franchisee gets our brand - or our 'child' - in their hands, we must be sure that they share JYSK's values. It requires understanding both ways, and in that process I am always very open and honest, and of course I expect that from our franchisees as well,” explains Frederik.
More power for Franchise
For most of the past 25 years, Frederik alone has been the Franchise department in JYSK - with lots of good collaboration with other departments. But in 2017 and 2019, the department was expanded with two new colleagues.
First, Magnus Thorn Andersen joined in 2017 as Franchise Coordinator and today Franchise Manager. Prior to that, he had worked as a Sales Coordinator for JYSK Sweden. Subsequently, Line Mortensen joined in 2019 as Franchise Field Manager. Line has worked her way up from apprentice to Store Manager in a JYSK store and now has an international role in Franchise.
"There are only 24 hours in a day, and I have used those hours well enough. But I had to admit that it took more hands to move forward with our ambitious franchise growth strategy. Line and Magnus are super skilled at that - as in really skilled,” says Frederik and adds:
"They should also be praised for putting up with me, because it takes a little getting used to having two colleagues in the office when you have working 20 years more or less alone."
Frederik Kåre Kroun
- Born in 1971
- Raised on a farm in Skivholme outside Aarhus, Denmark
- Lives today in Hasle, Aarhus
- Married to Rikke and has three children aged 19, 20 and 23
- Employed by JYSK since 1 July 1997
The franchise adventure continues
With over 200 stores in 22 countries, Frederik's franchise adventure is far from over yet. "I must be carried out of here," as he puts it. "There are lots of countries that do not have JYSK yet," he also says.
After spending almost half of his life at JYSK, Frederik can look back on a both demanding and rewarding job, which in his own words he is still passionate about. On the private front, he can look forward to another 25-year anniversary in two years, when he can celebrate the silver wedding with his wife, Rikke.
"I am so lucky that I have been given the freedom I needed to make my job and private life work together. I can only say thank you for that, also to our three children,” says Frederik.
“Imagine being allowed to be a part of all this. That really is a privilege.”