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Following a five-year stint leading Pandora Europe, Middle East and Africa, David Allen will head up the new Pacific division from Sydney.
Following a five-year stint leading Pandora Europe, Middle East and Africa, David Allen will head up the new Pacific division from Sydney.

EXCLUSIVE: David Allen discusses return to Pandora Australia

Former Pandora Jewelry Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) general manager David Allen has spoken to Jeweller about his return to home shores to lead the company’s new Pacific division.

Allen was appointed president of Pandora Australia and New Zealand in 2012 following the departure of Karin Adcock, who had established the company’s local operations in 2004.  He was promoted to the EMEA role in 2015 and transferred to Pandora headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Allen’s return comes as part of an international restructuring of Pandora’s corporate organisation, including the division of the company into 10 regional ‘clusters’ rather than the previous three. In his new role, he will manage Pandora Fiji in addition to Australia and New Zealand.

“It is wonderful to be back, Australia is home, and we all missed her very much,” Allen told Jeweller. “My family and I have had an incredible life and professional experience abroad and I will always be truly grateful for the opportunity that was given to us.

“Being able to be a part of a company that values, nurtures and understands the strengths of the diversity in its international community makes me feel very proud. Two of our children completed their secondary schooling in Denmark and now have lifelong international friends.”

"It is of course very important for me to understand if and how the market has changed – as I am sure that it has – and I will invest time in understanding this"
David Allen, Pandora Jewelry

He added, “One of the first things we did when we got back was to have a barbecue – not that we didn’t have barbecues in Denmark, but there is nothing quite like an Aussie barbecue on a Saturday afternoon with a cold beer!”

In the past five years, Pandora Australia has undergone something of a management merry-go-round, having been led by three different executives: Brien Winther, who was transferred to Pandora British Isles after 13 months, Mikael Kruse Jensen, who left to manage Pandora Northern Europe following less than two years in the role, and Phil McNutt, who joined the company from Sunglass Hut in January 2019.

While Pandora Australia enjoyed a record run of profits and growth for many years, revenue has declined consistently since 2017.

When asked about the differences between the Australian and EMEA markets and the changes in Australia over the past five years, Allen said, “It is of course very important for me to understand if and how the market has changed – as I am sure that it has – and I will invest time in understanding this. This will in turn help the team and I understand the role that Pandora will play moving forward.”

Some industry commentators have noted that Pandora’s local problems may have been compounded by its shift toward company-owned ‘Concept’ stores while simultaneously alienating retail stockists.

A recent analysis by Jeweller revealed that the number of Pandora points of sale in Australia has declined by more than 60 per cent since 2010.

Addressing Pandora’s strategy in Australia, Allen said, “I cannot comment on the more recent decisions that have been made in the Australian market regarding network distribution. I do know that the organisation values the contributions that all of our distribution channels make to our brand.

“I also know that the shape and structure of this distribution varies across our Pandora markets globally, and this differentiation can be based on particular local market conditions and on how established the brand is,” he added.

When questioned over Pandora Australia’s treatment of retail stockists, including being forced to take unsuitable pack sizes, Allen was diplomatic: “Clearly the topic of inventory quality and quantity is critically important to us as well as our partners. That is understood and is of course something that the team and I are very focused on.

“The distribution and the performance of our product is critical to strengthening the connection that our consumers have with our brand, and we will continue to work on investing in and enhancing our inventory lifecycle and management processes both locally and internationally,”  he added.

In his new role, Allen will be based in Sydney and report to Pandora Jewelry’s new chief commercial officer, Martino Pessina.

 

More reading:
David Allen returns to lead Pandora Australia; Phil McNutt steps down
Pandora to cut 180 jobs in corporate restructure
More changes at Pandora
Pandora Australia managing director to be transferred
Pandora Australia president David Allen moves on
 











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