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A Pandora concept store
A Pandora concept store

Pandora to close accounts

After a six-year run of meteoric growth, Pandora is set to close around 100 accounts in Australia and New Zealand as it enters a new business phase in Australasia.

In an email obtained by Jeweller, Pandora Jewelry managing director Karin Adcock explained to stockists that the company is entering a new phase of its lifecycle within the Australasian market and it is necessary to close accounts.

The email was sent to all stockists yesterday morning to explain that face-to-face meetings will take place with all retailers for whom Pandora is closing accounts.

Speaking to Jeweller, Adcock said the email communication was an attempt to get on the front foot and allay any fears from ongoing stockists while dealing with the inevitable rumours about Pandora.

“This has nothing to do with our own Concept Stores, nor does it have to do with the current economic climate, it’s simply a realignment of our stockists,” Adcock explained.

“We want to go out to market with a full explanation of our plan, so we don’t have rumours going around left, right and centre. We will probably still have some people raising all sorts of questions [after the announcement], but we thought it would be better to be up-front.

“Also, we don’t want to send shivers right through the network [of Pandora stockists] and have everybody thinking that now we are closing [independent] retailers and we are only having Pandora retail stores because that is absolutely not the case,” she added.
Adcock’s email explained, “We have, over the last four years, worked tirelessly on introducing the retail concept where multi-branded retailers [independent stores] could upgrade their presence with the Pandora brand. Many stores have embraced these initiatives. However, the Pandora retail concept is not for everyone.

“Some stores have not wanted to move along with the retail concept as it has not been suitable [for them] to be part of this journey. We fully respect and understand that. This has brought us to the conclusion that it is time to part ways with some retailers within our network,” the email explained.

A small number of Pandora accounts had already been closed last year. Adcock explained that the company had carefully analysed the strategy throughout 2010.

Some in the industry believe the rationalisation of Pandora stockists is long overdue, and Adcock agrees. “It is something we began working on in 2010 and the detailed analysis took a little longer than planned, which meant we would have been making announcements about account closures before Christmas last year,” she told Jeweller.

“We felt that would be unfair so we have held back the plan until the new year, after the busy Christmas period, and in time for retailers to visit the Brisbane fair in order to find replacement stock for the rest of the year,” Adcock explained.

She was also quick to quell rumours that Pandora would not be exhibiting at the Brisbane trade fair, saying, “No, we will be at Brisbane. It’s business as usual for Pandora; it will just be with less accounts.”

The email concludes, “It will not be easy for us to part ways as we have enjoyed working with all Pandora stockists; however the branded experience in a right environment must today drive the decisions for where Pandora is being sold.”

The affected stockists have a 60-day window in which to sell-down current stock levels.

Josh Zarb, managing director of Leading Edge buying group said he was aware of Pandora’s email but it was too early to comment.  

Another group likely to be affected by Pandora’s strategy is Showcase, but at the time of publication, managing director Michael Mishevski was unavailable for comment.

Good news for remaining stockists?
While the latest Pandora strategy might be bad news for around 100 retailers, it could be good news for the remaining stockists. In a more wide-ranging interview, Adcock explains why the closures were necessary and what it will mean for remaining stockists.

As part of the new strategy, Pandora has scheduled a national “roadshow” in each capital city to explain the brand’s vision, and plans for the Australasian market. Read here.

More reading:
Pandora reveals criteria for account closures
Pandora urges retailers to help flood victims
Pandora ramps up social media
Pandora: Fad or trend?
Christmas orders boost Pandora

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