An international career in Denmak
Meet Paul Spijkerman who is 34 years old, living in Vejle, and responsible for retail marketing in more than 1000 JACK & JONES stores worldwide.
Where are you from, and how did you end up at BESTSELLER in Denmark?
I was studying marketing and working part-time in a department store in Holland when I first became familiar with JACK & JONES. We started selling it in the department store, and it was just one of those “too good to be true” brands that performed very well. One day my area manager told me that he was leaving the department store to become a JACK & JONES partner, and he asked me if I wanted to join him. I said yes, and that became the start of a great career. After finishing my studies, I got a job at the sales office in Holland, which eventually led me to my current job at the JACK & JONES main office in Denmark. It was a big decision to move to Denmark, especially since I have a girlfriend and a son. But we decided to take the step. It was a great way of getting an experience together, explore new opportunities and develop as a family. To me personally it was also a matter of career progression. This job was the perfect next step for me. In Denmark I am based right where the decisions are taken, and I can really make an impact. I am now part of something bigger, the entire BESTSELLER organisation, which was also a great motivational factor to me.
What do you do in BESTSELLER?
My job is to make sure that the brand identity and the brand DNA is reflected in all retail marketing activities globally. At the same time, I make sure that the activities are adapted to and successful in each of the countries we operate in. Balancing these two perspectives is the biggest challenge in my job – but also the thing I like the most. I cooperate with many different cultures, and it is my job to understand the different needs and come up with solutions that bring value to each country as well as to the JACK & JONES brand in general. I usually say that I work in different time zones. I develop the long-term strategy, and I solve day-to-day issues on an operational level.
What do you like best about working in BESTSELLER?
Everything here is about adding value, inspiring people and meeting challenges. That fits my personality perfectly. Input is appreciated – and vision is appreciated. If you have an idea that can add value on either a strategic level or on a very practical level, then go for it. Everyone here is encouraged to make a difference, and BESTSELLER offers you so many opportunities to do so.
What is it like to live in Denmark?
To me, Denmark is not very different from Holland, though it is more family-oriented. People seem to take the time to be together and develop as a family. Children are also raised to have an opinion and to be heard and that influences the whole mentality in the country. Everyone’s opinion and ideas count. We like it here and have no ambitions about moving anywhere else. My son is in a Danish daycare and is being raised “the Danish way”, and my girlfriend is taking Danish lessons and aims to get a job as well. So we are all in. We want to integrate and to get the most out of it and be open to all opportunities.