Danish houseware giant Jysk has pulled the plug on plans to open stores in Russia. The market had been a major part of the company’s expansion plans
"We were excited about going into Russia,” Jysk’s president Jan Bøgh told Børsen.
“There seemed to be stability and economic prosperity, and the currency was stable; now we see that things are different.”
Bøgh said that Jysk had already chosen cities, locations and potential properties, and that the first stores could have opened as early as next year.
"It is very unfortunate,” he said, confirming that the uncertain economic situation in Russia due to the conflict with Ukraine and resulting sanctions from the West caused Jysk to shelve its Russian plans.
This is the third time that Jysk has tried Russian waters.
In 2000, the company actually opened stores in Russia, but as franchise arrangements. That proved to be a financial disaster. Jysk was prepared for a little vodka in its mix once again in 2009, but the financial crisis caused wary executives to put those plans on the back-burner.
The Big Mac of blankets
Bøgh made no secret of the fact that Jysk, for the time being at least, is missing out on a huge market.
We had plans for several hundred stores,” he said. "We have 150 stores and Russia is much larger, so we would have opened more. It sucks.”
Bøgh said that Jysk has turned a profit “from day one” in Ukraine and felt Russian stores would have been equally successful.
Jysk’s charismatic – and extremely wealthy – owner Lars Larsen has said many times that it is his goal that there would be more Jysk locations around the world than there are McDonald’s.