Danish homewares retailer Jysk will open six new Irish stores before the end of the year, with up to a further 10 planned for 2022.
The group says it believes the market in the Republic could eventually bear “between 40 and 50” of its outlets.
The company, which entered the market two years ago and has nine stores here, will open an outlet in Ashbourne in Co Meath this month, followed by Carlow in September, Tralee in Kerry and Eastgate in Cork in October, and Limerick and Dundalk in November.
“We also need to look at Northern Ireland at some point in time as a separate market,” said Roni Tuominen, Jysk’s country manager for Ireland and the UK.
Currently, it only has one store in Dublin, and Mr. Tuominen believes the capital could support between eight and 12 outlets. It is also targeting other urban areas such as Galway, while Eastgate will be its first store in the vicinity of Cork city.
Overall, Mr. Tuominen said Jysk has between 20 and 30 “active projects” underway in Ireland as it seeks to make up for time lost during the pandemic restrictions. The company prefers out-of-town locations such as retail parks for its stores, with its furniture range selling particularly well here.
In other markets, it also has a smaller format “city concept” store for main shopping streets. It may consider opening stores of this type in Ireland in the future but none are on the drawing board.
Jysk says its six-store openings for the remainder of 2021 will see it invest €7 million and recruit about 90 new staff. Now that the hospitality sector has reopened after the Covid restrictions, Mr. Tuominen said it was becoming harder to find staff. “A lot of people have been shifting industries during the pandemic,” he said.
Mr. Tuominen said that despite the pandemic opening in Ireland has been one of the group’s most successful “for many, many years”. He said comparisons with other countries were difficult because of varying levels of restrictions but the Republic was still “one of the best-performing countries” for the group.
Jysk has about 3,000 stores worldwide and is aiming to breach 5,000 over the coming years. It plans to open 200 stores in Europe alone over the next year.
The company has repeatedly complained about the length of time it takes in Ireland to get a new store through the planning process.