Danish home decoration store chain Jysk has announced some ambitious targets during the celebrations of its fortieth anniversary. The chain wants to more than double its number of stores to 5,000 and start a worldwide expansion.
Europe is too small
Jysk, the "Danish answer to Swedish Ikea", has recently revealed its major expansion plans in the United Kingdom. The chain would like to open some forty stores, meaning it would have 52 stores in five years' time. Three more stores will open this year, six or seven are scheduled for 2020. In Ireland, the group opened its first store in early April - with the intent of having twenty stores within two to three years. The chain sticks to its principles: no megastores, but medium-sized home decoration stores in suburban retail parks.
The store openings are part of a bigger master plan: Lars Larsen, who founded the group forty years ago, is aiming for at least 5,000 stores before 2025. Or as Jan Bøgh, CEO-president of Jysk Nordic recently wrote to his employees mid-April: "Perhaps turning 40 also means that we are no longer a young company, but it does not mean that we have settled down. On the contrary, JYSK is still a company with an appetite for expansion and eager to become known all over the world."
Europe is starting to be come too small, Bøgh continues: "The opening in Ireland does mean that we now have stores all over Europe. Not as many stores as we should have, but stores enough to make it necessary to look even harder at the world map to decide where to expand next. Lars Larsen has said that Jysk should have at least 5,000 stores, and I do not think there will be room for that many stores in Europe. Therefore, expansion outside Europe has been one of the important themes when creating a new strategy for Jysk for the next three years."
Merger with Dänisches Bettenlager
What that strategy will look like and which countries will be prioritised is not yet known, but it has become clear that the group will be operating under a single banner within Europe from now on. Near the end of March, the Lars Larsen Group decided to merge Jysk Nordic (which contained 1287 outlets in twenty countries at the time) with sister chain Dänisches Bettenlager (1283 stores in seven countries).
"We have concluded that one big entity will be more competitive in a market which is generally characterised by fewer but bigger competitors," Larsen explains. The new entity will be run by Bøgh, who adds: "With twice the number of stores, and a lot more colleagues to contribute to the success of JYSK, I am sure that the merger of JYSK Nordic and Dänisches Bettenlager is a good decision, and I look forward to all of us making the best of it."