The best buys at Jysk, Denmark’s answer to Ikea
Neat sofas and bedding are proving popular at Scandi chain due to open in Dublin in October
Jysk is the latest name in homeware retailers in Ireland you need to know
We’ve become a very house-proud nation and this new found pride is in no small part due to the décor invasion from the Viking north. Centuries after the marauders came to steal our goldsmithery and illuminated books, Scandinavia has sent design-conscious brands like Ikea to entice us to part with our money.
The latest name to know is Jysk , which is pronounced “yooussk” and is derived from the Danish word for people from Jutland, “Jutlandic”. It was founded in 1979 by Lars Larsen in Aarhus, the same town that gave us Sostrene Grene and has drawn a fan base that shops often and loves its point of difference.
Having already opened seven outlets across Ireland, the company will open its first Dublin store at Gulliver’s Retail Park in Santry in October.
Jysk’s big selling point is hinted at in its logo, which features a goose, for the firm has made a name for itself with its bedding buys; especially delicious down duvet covers and pillows that feel like clouds, the latter costing from just €50 each. “In Denmark it is really normal to spend €200 on a pillow,” explains Jennifer Johnston, its sales and marketing manager. She says Jysk’s point of difference is the way the bedding product is merchandised. “In Ireland we shop for duvets that are covered in plastic and buy them based on their tog weight. In Scandinavia this is unheard of. Here you can touch and feel as well as see what its composition is.” Since we spend up to one-third of our lives in bed, it is a tactile thrill to have this sensory close-encounter with our would-be bedding and helps to make the experience feel as nest-like as possible.
In Ireland, women account for 70 per cent of the company’s shoppers and they can be seen lying on its beds and mattresses - both foam and spring are on offer - on the day this writer visited the Navan store, which has its bedding on a mezzanine level. These are set on simple divan shapes or on slim, low-set, white steel frames. Jysk is the only shop in the retail park that has a queue outside it. Like Ikea much of the bed offering is in European sizes, which can be slightly longer than standard.
All out Scandi
If you and your partner have different inner thermometers you can go all out Scandi and invest in two single duvets, in different weights, and put an end to any fighting over the one cover.
Its Sense range of organic cotton percale duvet sets are crisp to the touch and come in soft serene prints and colours. The Ada is especially summer-like and costs €69.99.
There are organic cotton Idre hand towels with a waffle texture that will make you want to bury your face in them and that will elicit envious green-eyes from visitors to your home when they discover you only paid €10,99 a piece for them. Visitors to the guest bathroom may even be tempted to put the textiles in their handbags. For squeaky clean skin there are 100 per cent cotton gloves, from 79 cents each and matching face cloths, €1 each, in a slew of muted shades.
But the offer extends way beyond bath and bedding. For those looking to accommodate visitors over the rest of the summer there are airbeds, double-size, from €15, and fold-up camp beds, €60, not seen since you went to stay in your granny’s.
Some of its best-selling items are bigger pieces of furniture, the neat Egedal sofa, €449, and Hallund dining table, €95, but some of the best fun is discovering high design buys for the price of a decent lunch. The stylish Vansted bamboo rail, €79.99, could double as a wardrobe in a spare room and would also look great in the hallway of a Victorian house. There is a wide range of garden furniture that includes 1960s-inspired Palm Springs chairs and loveseats, poly-rattan sofas and chairs, as well as benches, planters and accent tables. This writer bought a laser-cut D40, a powder-coated steel side table in on-trend terracotta, for just €15, down from €19.99 as one of the store’s many special offers, which are marked in fluro yellow stickers. These change all the time.
Currently the company has seven shops in the republic; Naas, Co Kildare; Youghal, Co Cork; Navan, Co Meath; Waterford; Limerick; Portlaoise; and Drogheda and is opening in Sligo in August and in Dublin at Gulliver Retail Park in October. Those of you living in the capital can order much of the range now online. Delivery to Dublin costs in the region of €100 but it might be more fun for you and a pal to hit the road and visit one of the stores in person where you get a better sense of the quality.
Irish shoppers love the offer, Johnston says. “When the company opened the store in Cork the staff received thank you cards from customers.” This, as anyone in retail knows, is rare.
Jysk’s best sellers in Ireland
1. Egedal sofa, a 1950s-style form, €449
2. Jonstrup dining chair, grey, €44.99
3. Hallund dining table, oak, €95
4. F110 Gold foam mattress, €799
5. Bruri, marshmallow-soft, fibre down pillow, €34.99 (lifestyle pic of selection of foam pillows)