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Karin Adcock - Pandora Australia President
Karin Adcock - Pandora Australia President

Warranty concerns for Pandora stockists

Jewellers at risk of losing their Pandora account face fresh concerns over product warranties while the number of accounts closures is being disputed.
After the Danish jewellery giant announced on January 5 it would be closing another 100 accounts in Australia and New Zealand by March 31, retailers are worried about the issue of customer warranties on Pandora products previously purchased by their customers.

Nationwide Jewellers buying group director Colin Pocklington told Jeweller the major issue since the announcement to close accounts is customer warranty. Pocklington wants to ensure retailers are covered in terms of a revised warranty procedure.

“What is meant to happen if a customer wants something fixed under warranty and they no longer sell Pandora products?” Pocklington questioned. “Some of the stores they’ve [Pandora] closed are in remote areas and it’s a long way to the next Pandora stockist.”

Pocklington added the new Consumer Law Act further emphasises the need for clarification from Pandora regarding any revised warranty procedures.

“With the new consumer laws retailers need to be somewhat more onerous,” Pocklington said. “Therefore, it’s important to make sure retailers are covered in terms of what they have to do.”

Showcase Jewellers buying group director Mike Mishevski mirrored Pocklington’s thoughts, saying Pandora needed to issue very clear guidelines to retailers who will no longer be stocking the brand.

“Under the new consumer laws the retailer is responsible for product repair even for products they will no longer be selling,” Mishevski said. “There is no guideline at present for Pandora products and how they will service that particular customer.”

Mishevski told Jeweller the biggest damage would be felt by the retailers’ shopfronts in the event they are unable to service the customers’ needs.

“The retailer is where the transaction is made and if the goods are not fit for purchase, the consumer may demand their money back if in the correct time frame,” Mishevski said.

Representing their members, the buying groups have raised their concerns with the company.

Pandora Australia president Karin Adcock believes there is no reason for concern and explained the new concept stores would accept warranties from customers, which purchased their products from previous stockists.

Adcock also encouraged former stockists to handle warranty issues with Pandora just as they would have normally done whilst stocking the products.

“We have no problem recommending all concept stores to accept warranties,” Adcock told Jeweller. “There is no change to this procedure and once an account is closed, we would hope the retailer treats the warranty issue in the normal course of business.”

Meanwhile, contrary to Pandora’s announcement, industry speculation suggests more than 100 stockists could lose their Pandora accounts.

Pocklington said the three buying groups alone have well in excess of 100 members losing their Pandora accounts.

“Between the three buying groups it’s about 135 members that are losing their accounts,” Pocklington said. “Assuming a high proportion of the retailers are aligned with buying groups then the number could be as high as 180 accounts.”

Adcock however said the brand would sever ties with “around 100” stockists, but declined to confirm the exact figure.

“I can’t say the exact but it’s around 100 however,” Adcock said.

She said the feedback from stockists after the announcement had been mixed with some retailers upset at the decision, while others were very understanding of Pandora’s decision to cull stockists.

“Because Pandora has had such a big impact on stockists, it’s very hard for a number of smaller retailers,” Adcock lamented. “Some are very upset, but many understand and can see why we’ve made this decision – they can see that this is where the brand has to go.”

More reading:
Pandora closes 100 more stores
Pandora expands further in NZ

See all stories for: Pandora

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