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The story of JYSK’s name – a 42-year journey

Date: 10/09/2021

Author: Johanne Sandal Nissen, Communications Coordinator, JYSK

Category: History

Lars Larsen
Lars Larsen and his wife Kris at the first JYSK store in Denmark in 1979.

This month DÄNISCHES BETTENLAGER is rebranded as JYSK in Germany, which means that all JYSK stores will share the same name. But did you know that JYSK was not initially called JYSK?

Back in 1979, Lars Larsen, the founder of JYSK, dubbed our company JYSK SENGETØJSLAGER (translated: “JYSK bedding storage”). Larsen thought this was the perfect name for his concept as he expresses in his autobiography. “Storage” would imply some sort of discount, “bedding” was the primary product at the time, and “Jysk” is the expression used for people from Jutland in Denmark, a group that was nationally perceived as trustworthy.

Yet he unexpectedly encountered a problem with various advertisement bureaus, who insisted that a company name had to be short – 4 or 5 letters at max. It was not until Larsen found an advertisement bureau with an even longer name which accepted JYSK SENGETØJSLAGER that the first store was to open in Aarhus, Denmark.

After changing the company name to JYSK, Larsen acknowledged in his autobiography that ironically enough the advertisement bureaus ended up being right about the length of the name.

How to translate the name

Germany
Lars Larsen at the first store in Germany in 1984.

As JYSK SENGETØJSLAGER became a success in Denmark, Lars Larsen decided to expand to other countries, the first one being Germany, but once again he experienced a problem regarding the name.

“We knew that Germans was not familiar with the word “Jysk”, but we also knew that they linked Denmark with high quality,” says Carl Erik Stubkier, who has been a part of Marketing in JYSK since the beginning.

Thus in 1984 when the first store was to open in Germany, Lars Larsen and his team decided to switch “JYSK” with “Danish” so it became DÄNISCHES BETTENLAGER.

One name all over the world

When opening the first store in Sweden in 1991, they decided to keep the word “JYSK” whereas the rest of the name was translated so it became JYSK BÄDDLAGER and continued this method for each country going forward.

“When we were expanding to Poland in the year 2000, we once again reflected on the name. We realised that we could not keep changing the name for each country,” Carl Erik Stubkier states.

“In most of the countries the stores had the name JYSK in it. It therefore made sense to gather all these into one name: JYSK,” he continues.

All stores will finally share the name when the last stores in Germany are renamed JYSK on 27 September.

JYSK

 

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Sam Unique name, but unintuitive for native English speakers to pronounce properly.

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