Update from our CEO: An eventful year has ended
Looking back at financial year 2018/19, I think it is fair to say that it has been one of the most eventful years in the history of JYSK.
It has been a year of joy, as we have celebrated the 40th anniversary of JYSK in April 2019, when founder Lars Larsen cut the blue ribbon to our first store in Ireland. Thereby completing JYSK’s presence all over Europe. But it was also a year with sorrow and emotions, as Lars Larsen lost the fight against cancer and passed away in August. A great loss and a very sad day for all of us, but especially for those closest to him, and my thoughts go to his family.
However, Lars Larsen´s passing and the enormous media coverage of his life and of JYSK also made it clear how big an impression Lars Larsen has made. In the 40 years since the opening of JYSK, Lars Larsen built something unique, and everyone who has worked for JYSK during those 40 years, should be proud of their contribution.
And we are not through contributing. Lars Larsen made it clear from the very beginning that JYSK shall have stores all over the world and become the world´s most widespread and profitable chain of stores.
That is not yet the case, so we still have a lot to do, as the goal for JYSK remains the same.
An important step in the right direction was the decision to merge the two business units, JYSK Nordic and DÄNISCHES BETTENLAGER into one JYSK. A decision, which was announced on 28 March 2019.
"Lars Larsen built something unique, and everyone who has worked for JYSK during those 40 years, should be proud of their contribution."
- Jan Bøgh | CEO & President, JYSK.
Since then all departments have been working to bring the vision of one JYSK into life, and we have come a long way. There is still a lot to do, before we can truly say that we operate in exactly the same way in all countries, but for me it has been great to experience the positive energy it has released to work closer together. I have no doubt in my mind that the decision will make JYSK stronger and increase the success of our stores no matter if they are called JYSK or DÄNISCHES BETTENLAGER.
However that is not the only change going on. The world is changing rapidly, and we know that we have to do a lot differently in the next 40 years to continue our successful journey.
One example is the increase of online sales both in JYSK and in the market in general. This means that we have invested a lot of money during the financial year. These investments includes IT and E-Business as well as distribution centres, as both are crucial to provide the best service for tomorrows customers.
And we are not finished with investing. During the coming years we will continue to increase our investments even if it has negative affect on EBIT in the short run.
This was the case in the last financial year. Even though we had an approved growth in turnover at 6.30 percent, we saw EBIT decline with 7.73 percent. That is not a surprise, and even though we always aim to increase earnings, this year’s decline in EBIT was to be expected considering the huge investments, we have made. The decision to invest heavily despite a negative short term affect, also highlights the advantage of being a family owned company.
Before Lars Larsen passed away, his son, Jacob Brunsborg, took over the position as chairman of Lars Larsen Group, and on behalf of the whole family Jacob has made it clear that JYSK will continue as a well invested and family owned company.
Therefore I am also very optimistic for the future of JYSK after an eventful year.