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Greek employees believed in success from day one

Date: 12/11/2018

Author: Rune Jungberg Pedersen, Communications & CSR Director

Category: Expansion

JYSK Greece has performed very well since the first stores opened in September 2015. Not least because of the hard work from the Greek employees – many of whom have been part of the project from the beginning.

JYSK Greece employees
From left: Vassiliki Gkali, Nikos Kostakopoulos, Vangelis Koukoulias and Maria Barda.

For more than 2,000 years, Greece has been known for the its famous tragedies, but there is much more to the country than that.

The cradle of modern thinking is also a place where hopes and dreams come alive. Not least in JYSK Greece, which has been the opposite of a tragedy, since the first stores opened on September 24 2015.

In the financial year 2017/18, more than 650,000 customers chose to shop in one of JYSK’s stores in Greece, and with the continuous opening of new stores, that number is expected to become much bigger.

The plan is to open ten new stores in the current financial year, which also means welcoming a lot of new colleagues.

Colleagues that have a lot to look forward to, according to District Manager Vassiliki Gkali, who has been with JYSK in Greece since July 2015.

“I felt very comfortable quitting my job in IKEA and starting in JYSK, even before JYSK had any stores in Greece. I knew a bit about the company, and I always trusted that JYSK would open in Greece as planned, despite the economic situation in our country,” says Vassiliki.

Facts about JYSK Greece

  • The first stores in Greece opened in September 2015.
  • JYSK now has 22 stores with 165 store employees and 18 employees at the head office.
  • JYSK Greece plans to open 10 new stores in this financial year.

More familiar with JYSK

From the very beginning she was attracted to JYSK's concept.

“I like the JYSK concept because it is smaller stores, and it is more personal than working in a big warehouse,” explains Vassiliki.

Her family and friends, however, did not know JYSK, but that has changed as well.

“It was positive that JYSK opened at a time when there were so many questions about the Greek economy. That is part of the reason people in Greece are very positive towards JYSK. Another reason is that people in Greece generally trust Danes and Danish companies,” says Vassiliki.

That is also the experience of Maria Barda, Store Manager in the second store in Larissa, Karamanli st.

She was also part of the team in Greece from the beginning, and she is very happy about the results so far.

“I think it was very tough in the beginning, because we had to build the company in Greece from zero. We did that with a lot of help from the head offices in Greece and Hungary, and I feel proud that I have been part of building JYSK in Greece to get where it is today,” says Maria.

Lars Larsen in Greece
Founder of JYSK, Lars Larsen, opened the first store in Greece in 2015.

Strong values are important

Both Vassiliki and Maria agree that the strong values in JYSK play an important role in creating the success:

And that view is shared by Vangelis Koukoulias, Store Manager in Trikala, Greece, and Nikos Kostakopoulos, Store Manager in Florida Park, Thessaloniki, which is the JYSK store in Greece with the highest turnover.

Nikos came to JYSK right after university, and he is still very happy that he chose to pursue a career in JYSK in October 2015.

“For me it was the perfect place to start my career. I wanted to be in a company I could trust and which could provide a lot of possibilities,” explains Nikos.

He started as a Sales Assistant, later he moved on as a sales leader and then in March 2017, he became Store Manager. However, he hopes to go even further.

“JYSK is growing and the employee promise ‘Bring dedication – meet possibilities’ is really alive. There are still a lot of possibilities for me to go further in JYSK, either here in Greece, or trying to work abroad, if I want to do that at some point. This means that you never get tired of your job, because you constantly have the opportunity to develop and try something new,” says Nikos.

He and his colleagues all look back with pride when evaluating the first three years of JYSK in Greece, but although it has not been that long since JYSK opened the first store, a lot has already changed.

“In the beginning we only had four stores and had to figure a lot of things out as we went. Now everything is much more organised, which makes JYSK in Greece even stronger,” says Vangelis.

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