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Karin Adcock returns to the jewellery industry with new Danish brands
Karin Adcock returns to the jewellery industry with new Danish brands
 










Karin Adcock shock return to jewellery industry

In a surprise move, Karin Adcock, the former president of Pandora Australia, has announced her return to the Australian jewellery industry. 

In keeping with her own, and Pandora’s Danish heritage, Adcock’s new company, House of Brands has acquired the distribution rights to three Danish brands – Julie Sandlau, byBiehl and X by Trollbeads. 

X by Trollbeads is a completely new product line and differs from its normal charm and bracelet range. But the shock announcement is sure to cause a stir in Australia and New Zealand, because not only is Trollbeads a direct competitor to Pandora, Trollbeads already has a local supplier in RJ Scanlan & Co. 

In a further surprise, Adcock's new company, House of Brands (HOB), will be exhibiting at the International Jewellery Fair in Sydney next week and while the Julie Sandlau and byBiehl brands will be on display, she is keeping X by Trollbeads a closely-guarded secret. 

“I really can’t say much about X by Trollbeads right now because there is a worldwide embargo until the official launch in Copenhagen on September 17,” Adcock told Jeweller.

“All I can say is that it’s completely new and unique and that it’s been developed by Trollbeads to be very different to their normal charms and bracelets range. 

“We were approached to become the exclusive Australian and New Zealand distributor and we only accepted because it’s so different and there’s nothing like it in the market. I am very excited about it,” she said.

Under wraps 
While X by Trollbeads is being kept under wraps, Adcock said that she would be unveiling the range to a select number of jewellery retailers at an exclusive world-first presentation after hours on the Sunday and Monday nights at the Sydney fair. 

Adcock is aware that many people will ask why she has decided to re-enter the Australian jewellery market and wonder whether she aims to replicate the enormous success of Pandora.

“I am not sure there can ever be another Pandora and I am not setting out to, nor do I expect to, have the success that we had with Pandora. It was a unique situation and a specific point in time, and my aim is for HOB to be a master distributor of a wide range of products, so we are not trying to prove anything.” 

In addition to the announcement of the three jewellery brands, HOB already distributes Fleye eyewear, Yeti outerwear jackets and Viola Sky, a luxury lingerie range, all of which are Danish-designed. However, Adcock said that although it had been a definite strategy to concentrate on her Danish heritage, she was not restricting the business to Scandinavian products. 

She believes that the brands she has chosen offer a good mix across different retail sectors and will become a springboard for a much larger operation.

“I am an entrepreneur at heart and I can’t stop looking at business opportunities,” Adcock said.

“I got the idea HOB when I was in Vietnam last year and took 12 months to research a business plan and identify a product range. We began with the eyewear and lingerie range and I was asked to look at making Julie Sandlau and byBiehl successful in Australia via my contacts back in Denmark.

“At first I wasn’t really interested in Trollbeads but when I was told it was a completely new product, we decided to take that on too,” she explained. 

Chris Scanlan, marketing manager for RJ Scanlan said he was aware that the new range would be distributed in Australia by another company.

“It’s very different and nothing like the charm and bracelets so, Trollbeads in Denmark decided that in most of the international territories it would be best to secure and broaden their distribution by appointing secondary suppliers,” Scanlan said. 

Adcock said that her philosophy was to work with strong brands that not only fitted the criteria of being unique, innovative and bespoke, but they must have a strong ”story” for consumers. 

“In this world where you can buy just about everything, we wish to work with beautiful, innovative and bespoke brands which have a point of difference with a unique story to tell and that the consumer can relate to,” she said.

Closely watched 
There is no doubt that Adcock’s re-entry into the jewellery market will be closely watched and her appearance at the Sydney jewellery fair will certainly cause much discussion given that she has been out of the industry for more than 12 months because of a one year, non-compete clause with Pandora. 

Adcock stood down from Pandora Australia in May 2012 and was replaced on 1 July by current Pandora president David Allen. 

She and her husband, Brooke, started the Pandora business in 2004 from their garage in Sydney and in less than five years the brand had become a major player in the Australian and New Zealand jewellery industry. Little did she know that in only a few short years the business would have grown to 200 staff with sales revenue in the tens of millions. 

Sales continued to increase year-on-year and the brand's success can only be described as phenomenal, and by 2009 it’s believed Pandora sales revenue reached more than $180 million (wholesale), which industry experts say represented at least $400 million at retail.   

At the time of announcing her departure from Pandora in May 2102, Adock told Jeweller: “I never imagined Pandora would ever get to anything like that [size]! For example, when I was preparing the [original] business plan to present to Pandora Denmark in 2004 to convince them to let me distribute in Australia, when I did the sales forecast and included the expenses which included staff, I thought, “Gee, these numbers are starting to get really big! I got worried so I stopped the budget at seven staff and $200,000 of annual sales.”  

It has been often said that under Adcock, the Australian arm became the business model that the Danish company replicated worldwide and, in 2009, the Australian and NZ operation was bought-back by the Denmark head office as part of a listing on the Danish stock exchange. 

The new HOB business, based in Mona Vale, Sydney, currently has more than a dozen staff and Adcock said she had already appointed a managing director, Bert van der Velde, who has 20 years experience in retail. 

“I want to make sure that I have a good work life balance,” she said, adding, “It’s very important in starting another business that I surround myself with very good people that take ownership in their roles. So Bert is running the day-to-day operation.” 

The decision to use the International Jewellery Fair in Sydney to launch three Danish jewellery brands has been tightly guarded, but the HOB presence will be hard to miss given that it’s a custom-made stand appearing in a prominent location. 

“I established so many strong, productive relationships with retailers and buying groups over the years and this made launching jewellery lines an obvious decision for House of Brands. I am looking forward to starting all over again at the Sydney fair. It should be fun!” Adcock added. 

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Julie Sandlau





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Monday, 20 November, 2017 02:34pm
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