JYSK stores on islands: “Customers feel like we are family”
How does it feel to work in the only JYSK store on an island? Four Store Managers tell us about their JYSK life on an island.
During the coronavirus pandemic, Store Manager Ivana Alebić Hlevnjak was impatiently waiting for new products to arrive from Poland.
After the first lockdown, the Croatian island Brac was still isolated and the truck with JYSK products was stuck on the mainland. So Ivana had to put all her efforts into convincing the authorities, so the truck could come to the island.
Fortunately, it was an adventure with a happy ending. 24 hours later, the goods arrived and the store was ready to welcome customers again.
Working in an island store does not only bring challenges in times of restrictions due to coronavirus. Although all procedures are very similar to JYSK stores on the mainland, the Store Managers always need to take their special conditions into account.
“Delivery and keeping a good stock is one main issue we always need to keep in mind. When the weather conditions do not allow the ferry to come over or the trucks are late to the ferry, we need to wait for the goods until the next day. That is of course important to communicate towards the customers. But we do our best to make them happy,” says Suzana Poša, Store Manager on Korcula, Croatia.
Great connection with customers
Despite the challenges, the Store Managers are happy to be an important part of their islands and the islanders who live there.
“We really have a close to connection to our customers. They feel like we are family and like to come to the store. We remember them and can ask them how they sleep now, if we know they bought a bed a few months ago. We can feel that connection,” says Kristoffer Lohmann, Store Manager in Rønne on Bornholm, Denmark.
But not only the familiar faces in the store make JYSK an important part of island life. Many customers simply appreciate having an affordable and trend-oriented home retailer to shop in.
“The JYSK store is very important for our island. Before there was only one small furniture store without a large offer of trendy and affordable products. Many people used to go to a JYSK store on the mainland. Now they have JYSK on the island and are thankful to find all in one place,” says Store Manager Ivana Alebić Hlevnjak from Croatia.
All JYSK stores of course experience more or less busy times. On the islands, however, seasonal changes are even more obvious. Most islands are visited by many national and international tourists during the summer, while the winters can be quiet and long.
“Life on the island in winter can be isolated and harsh, so most customers who visit during winter are locals. Summer is much more dynamic. With foreigners we use all ways of communication because sometimes the language barrier can be a challenge,” says Ivana.
For the store employees, having the opportunity of working with many different nationalities is also a huge enrichment. Those who come to the islands regularly are part of the island family already.
“Many Germans or English people come to the island regularly and they recognise me as the JYSK person when we see each other on the street. It is great to have such a good relationship with our international customers as well,” says Store Manager Nicolas Delgado from Fuerteventura, Spain.
Sales boom during summer
However, this year has been special. Coronavirus made it difficult for many international tourists to come to the islands. However, the JYSK store on Bornholm in Denmark had an amazing year.
“We have seen a huge sales boom, because people with summer houses from all over Denmark came here instead of going abroad. That was a different experience, but we are glad we still had such a great year. Though of course, we are also looking forward to welcoming international customers again,” says Store Manager Kristoffer Lohmann.
On Bornholm, the store employees are looking forward to another exciting year. Although, nobody can say how this spring and summer will look like, everyone in the store is happy to give the best service to their customers, whether they are locals, national or international tourists.