Keeping traditions alive
Christmas equals traditions, and this is also the case for the annual Christmas party in JYSK. Employees from the Danish JYSK stores, from the distribution centre in Uldum, and from the head office in Brabrand gather to celebrate another great year in a festive setting. Since the opening of the first JYSK store in 1979, an annual party has been a recurring event in all JYSK countries, and the Christmas party in Denmark has always been holding on to the old traditions.
But what makes the JYSK Christmas party so special?
Each year, a theme is announced before the party. The theme creates a common thread both in relation to decorations, food, and drinks, but also the apparel.
With a Christmas party every year for more than 40 years, it can be difficult to remember the different parties by the year. Instead, the parties are remembered by their theme. Michael Gade, CMO, recalls Superheroes the best: “At this Christmas party, everyone was all in on costumes. There was a whole other level of energy at this party”, he says. When Jane Nørgaard Elgaard, Sales Coordinator, looks back, the Christmas party that for her is most clear, is the Beach Party. With sand, leis, and coconut drinks, it was all well thought through. Photographer, Morten Møller Rehné, does not hesitate in his answer: “To see Lars Larsen as a coachman in his horse carriage was priceless. The Oktoberfest is one for the books.” This year’s theme was JYSK Awards with an increased focus on bold colours, gold, and glitter.
Even though the distribution centre in Uldum, the head office in Brabrand, and the 110 stores in Denmark participate, there is no doubt that this party is a tribute to especially the store employees. Every year, Country Manager in Denmark, Bo Viktor Andersen, hands over different awards such as best apprentice, best sales attitude, best store manager trainee, best store and many more. This year, there were 10 different categories with each one winner, but the most important prize to win, and the prize that everyone was fighting for, was “Store of the year”.
It has become a tradition that the Danish JYSK stores are closed the day after the JYSK Christmas party. Bo Viktor Andersen does not see that tradition change in the nearest future: “We truly want all employees to participate in this great event, which is why we keep our Danish stores closed this particular Sunday.”
This year’s JYSK Christmas party was the biggest event so far. No fewer than 2,350 happy and excited attendees joined the party on 19 November. “We have decided to hold on to the tradition of giving our employees the opportunity of bringing their partner to the Christmas party, even though the number of employees has increased tremendously since the first Christmas party,” Bo Viktor Andersen explains.
The Christmas party was arranged in a collaboration between JYSK and Dypång Management. “We cannot handle this alone… But neither can the event agency”, Bo Viktor Andersen explains. He elaborates that JYSK contributes with securing the true JYSK spirit and a common thread, whereas Dypång handles the practical things and bookings. Bo Viktor Andersen has become the familiar face of all internal branding material regarding the Christmas party in Denmark, and he is therefore an essential part of the planning process. To emphasise the importance of the big yearly event, it is also a tradition that JYSK invites some of the most recognised artists in Denmark on stage to perform. This tradition has evolved over years, as JYSK this year was able to present five different artists compared to having one main artist a couple of years ago.
‘Traditions’ is a recurring word in this context, but you simply cannot explain the details of the annual JYSK Christmas party without mentioning all the traditions attached to it. To keep traditions alive has been a crucial element in the planning in the past years, and it for sure will be in the coming years.