JYSK, the largest Danish retailer operating internationally, celebrated its 40th anniversary two years ago. Since 2005, JYSK is present Hungary where it continuously expands its store network and will soon have a regional distribution center as well.
As JYSK's Country Manager for Hungary, Austria and Greece, Sándor Szimeiszter tells Diplomacy&Trade, “JYSK has been very successful in Hungary, there is no other way of describing this. There was a period after JYSK entered the market when the brand awareness had to be developed and we had to learn to tailor our offer to the Hungarian market, but after this period, we grew very nicely from year to year. We have 89 stores and an online store, which, in my opinion, is the best, most customer friendly in the home furnishing sector in Hungary. With this, we became the second largest retailer in our sector. JYSK has been successful not only financially but focused on developing a good working environment and an attractive workplace. We won the Best Employer award three times so far proving that these efforts paid off.”
A period of incredible growth
He adds that not only JYSK Hungary, but the entire group has gone through a period of incredible growth in the past 6-8 years, driven by their ‘Seamless and closer to the customer’ strategy. “The strategy includes developing our cross-channel offer, which means that our stores and online operation complement each other, so our customers can have the most seamless shopping experience. We also started a store renewal program; all our stores will be remodeled into our new, more contemporary format. And we plan to go further on this road, now also integrating all JYSK-owned entities business – that have been operating worldwide under different brands – into JYSK.”
The company is just publishing its annual results for fiscal year 2021 and they show that JYSK Hungary has delivered the best results ever with a turnover of HUF 57 billion and EBIT HUF 12.4 billion. This is an increase of 11% on turnover and 36% on EBIT, respectively, compared to the previous financial year.
The founder of the JYSK group is Lars Larsen who is a kind of iconic figure in Denmark. Sándor Szimeiszter explains that Lars Larsen represents a true Danish success story as he built his company from one store to a global chain. He has always focused on keeping things simple and down-to-earth, keeping the hierarchy in the company flat, ensuring that decision-making is transparent and fast and most importantly focusing on JYSK colleagues as they are the most important part of the company. “Our company culture has Scandinavian characteristics, we have values that express how we act and how we treat each other, and these are very much alive and respected in the company.”
The strength of JYSK is that the leadership that took over after Lars Larsen withdrew from the daily operations carried on his approach and maintained it as the organization grew to be several times larger. “We have a strong foundation established by the JYSK concepts and frameworks, that we implement in each country, but we do it in every country in a way that fits the local culture, building on the leaders in the countries who drive our business.”
More stores to come
JYSK continues to open stores in Hungary, the latest being the one in the Etele Pláza this fall in the capital and one in downtown Budapest not long before that. According to the Country Manager, the JYSK store network in Hungary already covers the country and the population well, thus, they are looking to open only 2-3 stores a year in the future. “We have a saying at JYSK: ‘when you’re done, you’re gone’, which means that we should never consider the expansion to be finished in any country. Right now, we have 89 stores in Hungary, but we still see opportunities for further expansion as the experience is that even those stores that we thought were risky to open proved a success. Our stores increasingly serve as collection points for our online customers and a more widespread store network also means that we can serve them even better.”
Last year, JYSK announced to build a distribution center in Ecser, southeast of Budapest, to provide stores in seven countries with goods. “From Poland to Greece, there are more than 700 JYSK stores, these are currently served by just two Distribution Centers (DC), one in Poland and one in Bulgaria. In the past few years, or sales volume in this region increased so much that these two have reached the limits of their capacity and it became necessary to add a new DC. This investment is also part of the preparation for our future growth, as we just entered the Russian market and plan to expand to Turkey. The area of Budapest was fitting perfectly in a geographical sense, but we also found a supportive environment from the side of the government and business services,” Sándor Szimeiszter points out.
Making the DC network denser also means that the distance traveled is shorter and emission is lower to supply the stores. JYSK’s online business is also growing dynamically and this development makes serving customers faster.
Responsibility towards nature
Sustainability is a key word – and a Nordic value – at JYSK. In that regard, the Country Manager highlights that in 2015, the United Nations adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals (or Global Goals) with the intention of solving some of the planet's biggest challenges by 2030 and building a better and more sustainable future for everyone. “Based on that, we have selected five Global Goals that are most relevant to our business. In addition, JYSK contributes to several Global Goals through our collaboration with leading NGOs and labeling schemes as well as through our support for charitable causes: Global Goal 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation), Global Goal 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), Global Goal 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production), Global Goal 13 (Climate Action) and Global Goal 15 (Life on Land). Our actions as a company affect the environment in different ways, and we have a big responsibility towards nature that surrounds us. We want to reduce our negative impact on the environment and therefore, we continuously work to develop as a company and think of more sustainable solutions. JYSK continuously strives to increase the number of FSC-certified products in our assortment, and by the end of 2024, all JYSK products and packaging made from wood, cardboard or paper will be FSC-certified. At JYSK, we are proud to contribute to the worldwide sector change by committing to sourcing 100% of our cotton for textile products as more sustainable cotton by the end of 2024.”
JYSK also aims to cut in half the greenhouse gas emissions from powering and heating all of its stores, distribution centers, offices and company owned vehicles by 2030 (from a 2019 baseline). The goal is to be carbon neutral throughout everything they do by 2050.
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