Danish retail company Jysk will open its doors in Portlaoise next week, its fourth shop to open in Ireland after Navan, Naas and Drogheda.
The IKEA rival will open at a new unit on the ground floor in Laois Shopping Centre and customers should get excited for ‘wow’ factor of the ‘Scandinavian’ design of the new shop according to the company's Head of Retail. Jysk, pronounced 'yusk' will be in a long-vacant 1,000sqm unit on the external lower ground floor.
Jysk is a retail chain in over 50 countries, selling household goods such as mattresses, furniture and interior decor.
Roni Tuominen is Head of Retail for Jysk Ireland. He told the Leinster Express about choosing Portlaoise and what to expect from the shop.
“We wanted to stay outside of Dublin from the beginning. We knew that our brand was not well known in Ireland and we want to be closer to customers. We picked some cities we tried to be clever because our organisation is a small team so we keep our stores at a reasonable distance from each other.
“I think Portlaoise compared to Naas, Navan and Drogheda which are purely retail parks, this is a bit of a different store and I think that is a good addition to have a mix of retail parks and now a shopping centre. We knew we would go to Portlaoise from the beginning we hope next week can prove us right that it is going to be the biggest reaction out of the four stores.
“I think it is the location. Of course, the retail parks are busy but from the very first time I visited a year and a half ago to Portlaoise I think I saw the kind of traffic and it is a really nice complex which offers something for everybody so I’d say it’s the mix of commercial opportunities there. We suit that puzzle I think that was the only thing that was missing but now we are there.
Portlaoise was one of the first locations chosen by the company and was originally planned for an opening last April but they came across some setbacks.
“We had some difficulties with all of our first four stores and it was mainly because we didn’t fully understand the Irish way of working and all the certs and permits that are needed.
“The units that we took over were more or less never used or needed a lot of changes and we figured out in many countries we just do the changes and we don’t need to do so much paperwork that is definitely not the case here. If you want to do even a small change then you have to do paperwork,” he said.
Ten people have been hired for the Portlaoise store and have been trained in the Naas shop since April.
Mr Tuominen described what customers can expect and encouraged locals to get out early for a free tea, coffee and Danish pastry in the queue. The shop will open on Thursday, August 8 at 9:00 am at Laois Shopping Centre.
"The offers we will have will blow your mind they are really good. The second thing is you will definitely sense the Scandinavian design when you walk in. In Jysk we work with a global assortment so 95% of our assortment is in every single country and then we add some local 5% to spice it up.
"Our customers when they go in should experience a kind of ‘wow this is something fresh’. That’s the difference I hope we can provide a ‘wow’ and specifically the Scandinavian design.
"Expect a queue from 8:00 am next Thursday morning we will serve breakfast at 8:30 am half an hour before we open the doors we will have coffee, tea and Danish pastries to people in the queue," he said.
The company hopes to open another ten shops in Ireland in the coming year.
Jysk is the largest Danish retailer operating internationally. In total it has 2,586 stores in 52 countries and over 22,000 employees.
It was founded by Lars Larsen, who opened the first store in 1979. The retail chain is still owned by Larsen, who is one of Denmark's richest people.