Allen takes over from current president Karin Adcock on July 1, who is stepping down from day-to-day operations after launching the brand in Australia in 2004.
Allen, who is the current vice president sales, joined Pandora in October. He told Jeweller he recognises there is a need to take Pandora back to its heritage, with he and Adcock beginning a series of round-table discussions today with Sydney stockists.
Adcock said the roundtables are, “Two hour meetings with retailers where David and I are discussing what’s working best, where we can help them better and give retailers confidence that we want to work with them.”
Adcock explained that there are three round-table meetings each day over the next three weeks in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Adelaide. “We want as many retailers to come as possible,” she said.
Allen explained that he has two major focuses, “One is our desire to create a strong network of concept stores, but also our absolute desire to maintain a very special relationship with our multi-branded partners. It’s a balanced approach. We are not focused on concept stores, they are part of our strategy but our multi-branded partners [independent stockists] are still a very big part of our business.”
Pandora currently has more than 400 independent stockists and 58 franchise outlets, which the company calls concept stores.
Allen said the round-table meetings are the start of an important process and he’s going to be spending a lot of time with stockists.
“We’re taking the business back to its heritage and the foundations on which it was built, and that’s around beautiful products and great customers and our multi-branded partners. The thing that is very important to me is spending time with our customers and talking to them about the brand and their business and what we can do to help them,” Allen said.
Karin Adcock, outgoing Pandora Australia President
“In our business that passion and desire to do the best for them [stockists] is alive and well, it’s important they see that in me as much as they know it and remember it from Karin. They know the brand as well as anyone. I’m sure they’ve got a lot they want to tell me and I’ve got a lot I want to know from them,” he added.
Allen brings to the role a background in the Australian retail industry, including having worked for Pretty Girl Fashion Group, Woolworths Limited and the Colorado Group.
Pandora CEO Bjorn Gulden described Adcock as “a true custodian of the brand” and Allen is fully aware that she has been the ‘face’ of Pandora in Australia and New Zealand and he has big shoes to fill.
“It’s very rare in the retail industry to come across an organisation where the heart and soul of the people within the business is as big as the brand itself. It’s something that has always inspired me since I’ve been here. It’s very easy not just to fall in love with the brand and the product but also with the people in the organisation. I absolutely understand the responsibility that goes with that. It means our customers are going to be in good hands,” Allen said.
He explained that before taking on the vice president sales position, he had a long notice period from his previous position and he spent a lot of his spare time with Adcock. Although he has been with Pandora for only six months Allen said, “I feel like I’ve been with the business a lot longer.”
Gulden said he was looking forward to working with Allen in the role.
“David Allen brings profound retail experience and energetic leadership to the Global Management team,” Gulden said. “I am confident David has the right set of both personal and professional skills to successfully bring Pandora to the next level in this region.”