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Jysk Prepares for Christmas with Pay Rise, Dec. 24 Closure

Analysis

Seasonal table setting.

Photo by Jysk

The Hungarian operation of Jysk is preparing for the holidays by closing its stores on Christmas Eve and giving staff an early pay rise, the Danish-owned retail chain has announced.

For the sixth year in a row, Jysk will close its stores nationwide for Christmas, a tradition first introduced in 2018. Employees will also see their salaries rise by an average of 20% from today (Dec. 1). Since January 2022, employees of Jysk Hungary have seen their salaries increase by an average of 45%.

The weeks leading up to Christmas are one of the busiest periods in retail. Jysk’s stores will be open on Dec. 22 and 23, and will open again after the holidays on Dec. 27.

“We work to ensure that our employees plan with us for the long term, and our Nordic corporate culture helps us to do that,” says Ági Nyeste, head of HR for Hungary, Greece and Austria at Jysk.

“We try to respond consciously to employee needs and maintain a workplace atmosphere in which colleagues feel comfortable. That’s why, for the sixth year running, we are closing our stores on Dec. 24, so that our retail colleagues can prepare for Christmas at home and relax at the end of a very busy period,” she says.

“The months of November and December are extra busy for our colleagues in the stores because of Black Friday and the preparations for the holidays,” she adds.

December Pay Rise

Jysk is also helping its staff prepare for December with a pay rise, with the January increase being brought forward by a month. From Dec. 1, store employees can expect an average pay rise of 20%. In January 2022 and again that September, salaries were increased by 10%, and in January this year, they went up by a further 5%.

As part of their compensation packages, employees also receive premium health insurance and sports membership contributions, while Jysk subsidizes the monthly commute to work by HUF 30 per kilometer and says it spends millions of forints annually on team building.

Employees can also participate in a number of vocational training and education courses. For example, the company supports the acquisition of forklift truck drivers’ licences, but mentoring programs and training modules are also available, and those preparing for management positions are supported by the Talent Academy and the Manager Trainee Program. Jysk says it aims to appoint 80% of its managers in-house in the future, so that store employees will have an attractive career path.

Jysk currently has more than 1,000 employees in 94 stores in Hungary and a logistics center in Ecser. Two more new stores will open in December, while older existing stores are being renovated. It had a turnover of HUF 97 billion in Hungary in the 2022-23 financial year. It has won the Best Workplace award three times in the Aon and Kincentric employee survey and was named Top Employer in January 2023.

Jysk isn’t the only store closing on Christmas Eve. According to hrportal.hu Penny’s management, having examined the interests of its employees and customers, has decided to close all its stores from Dec. 24-26. The retail chain operates 230 shops and three logistics centers and employs nearly 5,000 employees in Hungary. Lidl is another retail chain that will be closed on Dec. 24 so that employees can prepare for the holiday with their families.

This article was first published in the Budapest Business Journal print issue of December 1, 2023.

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