Line builds stores all over the world
Author: Laura Sulbæk, Communications & Sponsorship Consultant
With 15 years of JYSK experience, Line Mortensen now travels around the world as a mentor for franchise countries and helps build stores in her new position as Franchise Field Manager.
On 1 July, Line Mortensen will celebrate her 15th anniversary in JYSK, aged only 33. A bit of simple matemathics then shows that Line was basically ”born and raised” in JYSK, where she began her career as an apprentice in 2004. Since then, she has climbed the career ladder and has worked as Store Manager in both Odense and Haderslev in Denmark.
Now she has replaced the fixed boundaries in the store with 180 travel days a year and a lot of different stores around the world as her working place, as she helps franchise stores become as JYSK as possible.
“The purpose of my job is among other things to help the franchise stores get closer to the JYSK concept, and that is a new way to run franchise in JYSK,” says Line Mortensen and continues:
“From my experience, I know the concept like the back of my hand, so I know how the stores should be designed and look. Not all franchise stores look 100 percent like the JYSK concept, because they do not have all the same tools we use in JYSK, but they do the best they can. It is my job to help them the best way possible when I visit them, so I am an all-round JYSK mentor.”
Passing on working tools
Line uses all of her experience from being a Store Manager in her new job in franchise. As Store Manager in different JYSK stores in Denmark, she has faced different challenges from store to store.
About JYSK Franchise
- JYSK stores under the franchise concept is managed by local franchisees.
- JYSK Franchise opened the first store in Greenland in the capital of Nuuk in 1984.
- As of 1 June 2019, there was a total of 189 franchise stores in 25 countries around the world.
“I use my leadership skills a lot when I visit the different countries. I ask a lot of questions to the staff to get them to solve the tasks themselves. I do not force anything on them, but try to come up with suggestions, which can help them and pass on some of the tools that we use in JYSK,” says Line, who started in her new position in March 2019.
“She is a fantastic capacity, who is now able to work in the franchise stores for longer periods of time. She can pass on to the franchisees the experiences we have gained in JYSK through 40 years(...)"
- Frederik Kroun | Franchise Director, JYSK.
Franchise Director in JYSK, Frederik Kroun, is happy to have Line on board. According to Frederik, it makes it easier to adjust the JYSK Values to the different cultures and create a better understanding of the concept in franchise. In the end, it will give the franchisees a better foundation to expand in the countries.
“She is a fantastic capacity, who is now able to work in the franchise stores for longer periods of time. She can pass on to the franchisees the experiences we have gained in JYSK through 40 years. We know that the concept works, and therefore we also believe that it helps the franchisees get a better grip of the market and attract the customers,” says Frederik.
A love of Franchise
To Line, her new job is kind of a dream come true, as she has always had a partiality to franchise in JYSK, which besides Franchise Director Frederik Kroun also consists of Franchise Coordinator Magnus Thorn Andersen.
“I have wanted to work in franchise for many years. I sent my first application to Frederik 13 years ago, when I completed my time as apprentice. I have always wanted to travel,experience things and teach, so this is not just a random idea from my side,” says Line.
Line also had a preview of the job as Field Manager, as she helped open the first stores in Georgia, Moldova and Thailand, while she was still a Store Manager in Denmark. Therefore, she has already experienced some of the language and cultural differences from country to country.
”In some countries, they do not speak English that well, but Thailand was actually one of the easier countries, because they have a lot of tourists, so they understand English very well. In Moldova, it was harder to get the message across, but you come a long way with body language and photos, and I keep trying, until I get the feeling that they understand the task,” says Line, who also helps adjust the assortment of products from country to country.
Requires energy to travel
Even though the new Field Manager has found her niche in franchise, it is also a lot of hard work with the many days of travelling to countries and cultures, which in many ways are far from what she knows back home in Denmark.
“It is hard work when I am out visiting the countries and I often work very late hours. But at the same time, it also gives me the opportunity to challenge myself a lot, because I travel alone and am the only one doing my job, and I like that. Even though Frederik and Magnus are of course always ready to assist me,” says Line, who prefers to live in walking distance from the stores, when she is travelling.
When she is back home in Denmark, she spends time on charging her batteries, so she is ready to take off again.
“When I am at home, I focus on getting my rest and taking my dog for many long walks, because often there is also a big time difference between the countries I travel to. In Azerbaijan, I tried to follow my normal routines, even though they were two hours ahead. Otherwise it would simply be too hard for me travel so much and to mess up my circadian rhythm all the time,” says Line, who still lives in her hometown, Haderslev, in Denmark.
Success in Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan is the latest country Line visited and helped build the new JYSK store, which opened on 22 May. Here she experienced that it was a challenge to visit the country alone as a woman.
“It can sometimes be a challenge when I visit some countries alone as a woman – but then I know it is only because they do not know me yet,” Line laughs and continues:
“It can sometimes be a challenge when I visit some countries alone as a woman – but then I know it is only because they do not know me yet.”
- Line Mortensen | Franchise Field Manager, JYSK.
“For example, they do not shake hands with women in Azerbaijan. But after I had been there and helped them open the first store, they shook my hand when I left. So that was a big recognition and success for me.”
Next stop in Line’s travel calendar is the store in Cyprus where she will help train the staff.