Store openings continue despite corona
Author: Sandra Martinsson, Communications Manager, JYSK Sverige
Silent is just the opposite of how you would typically describe a JYSK opening. But in corona times everything is different.
During the almost two months that have passed since the World Health Organization, WHO, declared the spreading of the coronavirus as a pandemic, JYSK has opened 7 new stores and reopened around 40 remodeled stores.
“Expansion is a big part of our DNA and it is really important in these times. We know that there will be a time after corona and when that time arrives, we want to be there for the customers. That is why we have stuck with our plans to open stores, in those places where we have been allowed to do so,” says Mikael Nielsen, Executive Vice President Retail.
Al of the openings have been cleared with local authorities and with security measures taken. One of the security measures being to implement silent openings. Meaning no marketing efforts, no celebration and a lot fewer customers than JYSK is used to welcoming to a regular store opening.
Store #100 in the Netherlands
On the island of Texel, JYSK Netherlands was supposed to celebrate the opening of the country’s 100th store with at big party. Instead, the opening was silent.
“We had planned festivities for opening our 100th store. Unfortunately we had to cancel the party. The store opened as planned, but the party will be later on,” says Marco Woudstra, Development Manager for the Netherlands and Belgium.
JYSK Sweden opens biggest store
In Sweden, too, a milestone was to be celebrated. On 23 April, the biggest JYSK store in the country opened. The store employees, who had seen the store grow from 1,140 square metres to an XL store of 2,060 square metres, were really looking forward to a big celebration and many customers.
“We could not invite that many people to the store for a celebration. That would not be the responsible thing to do. Therefore we just opened the doors instead,” says Linus Östlund, Store Manager in Jönköping, and continues:
“The local newspaper came and made a story about the store opening despite corona, and it was a really good feeling to see that we do something positive in a time when a lot of attention is on how this affects the economy. That the store opened as planned means that we are ready to welcome customers when the corona pandemic is over.”
Security guards for Danish opening
In Brande, Denmark, where JYSK opened a newly renovated store on 20 March, a small part of the marketing material and invitations to the celebrations was already distributed to parts of the neighboring households when the corona pandemic broke out.
“We were anxious to see how many customers were going to turn up on the morning of the opening. We had help from security to make sure that the customers did not stand too close in line but that never became a problem. The customers arrived throughout the day and during the following days. I think it was a successful opening and the customers really liked the new store,” says Mike Kristensen, Store Manager in Brande.
Mikael Nielsen, Executive Vice President Retail, says that it is the employees’ attitude that makes the JYSK culture so unique.
“We are all experiencing a difficult time right now, but our employees’ attitude and the fact that they keep the JYSK Values alive is really our strength as a company. Our employees have been longing to open and celebrate their new store for six months or in some cases a year, and when that celebration is canceled, they still do not despair. Instead, they turn it into something positive. It makes me happy and proud and I really want to thank them for that,” he says.