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Articles from FASHION JEWELLERY (287 Articles)











Following the closure of his multi-level-marketing business JN Jewellery, Jesper Nielsen has come under further fire as his fraught history with Pandora comes to light.
Following the closure of his multi-level-marketing business JN Jewellery, Jesper Nielsen has come under further fire as his fraught history with Pandora comes to light.

Jesper Nielsen under fire from ambassadors as business 'history' comes to light

Following Jeweller’s report on the abrupt closure of multi-level-marketing (MLM) jewellery business JN Jewellery, many people came forward with additional information and complaints about its founder Jesper 'Kasi' Nielsen, a former Pandora Jewelry executive.

Nielsen is believed to have launched the business in Europe in early 2020 and expanded into Australia in March 2021.

"Several former members have provided additional information... saying that Nielsen consistently promoted – and heavily relied upon – his previous connection with Pandora Jewelry to attract new paying members"

According to those involved in the venture, JN Jewellery had attracted more than 70,000 ‘ambassadors’ – a buzz term used to describe salespeople recruited as paid members to sell the jewellery on a commission-only basis – at the time of its closure in September 2021.

MLMs, or network marketing businesses, have a chequered history; while the business model can offer a legitimate sales structure, the industry has been fraught with illegal operations that are nothing more than pyramid schemes.

Nielsen is reported to have unexpectedly walked away from JN Jewellery on 10 September, leaving as many as 76,000 members bewildered.

Since Jeweller’s report last week, several former members have provided additional information about the company’s activities and the events leading up to JN Jewellery being closed, saying that Nielsen consistently promoted – and heavily relied upon – his previous connection with Pandora Jewelry to attract new paying members.

Nielsen was initially a European Pandora distributor and a member of its international management team, before resigning as president of its Central Western Europe subsidiary in 2011.

He was bound by a non-compete clause, which prohibited him from trading in the jewellery industry until 1 June 2013 whereby he immediately founded a new business, Endless Jewelry.

Despite experiencing a rapid expansion, Nielsen left Endless Jewelry in February 2016 and only weeks later announced another jewellery venture, Amazing Jewelry, which he described as being inspired by ‘fast-fashion’ retailers Zara and H&M.

Endless Jewelry, which was headquartered and registered in Germany, initiated insolvency proceedings on 18 November 2016. A statement issued by Endless International GmbH confirmed the action, explaining that shareholders, board of directors and management had “reached the conclusion to declare the company bankrupt”.

Under Nielsen, Endless Jewelry’s sales structure allowed retailers a ‘right to return’ unsold product. The business model was criticised at the time because it meant retail stockists effectively had no ‘skin in the game’; they could over-order product knowing that if the product did not sell, it could be returned to the company.

Next venture

In June 2016 – four months after announcing his next venture – Nielsen opened the first Amazing Jewelry store in Copenhagen, Denmark. It was a franchise business model, promoted with the tagline: “Join the jewelry revolution at prices never seen before”.

It was reported to have reached a store count of 60 across Europe, the US, the Middle East, North Africa and Asia. However, the business started to unravel with media reports in August 2018 stating that five German stores were closed and the “Hamburg District Court has opened insolvency proceedings against Amazing Jewelry GmbH.”

Other stores were closed in July 2020 and the last remaining store – the Copenhagen flagship, located on the high-profile shopping street Strøget – was closed by Nielsen in February 2021 with the Danish finance website Finans.dk reporting: “After a string on bankruptcies recently, Jesper ‘Kasi’ Nielsen has now chosen to close Amazing Jewelry’s store in Copenhagen.” 

Amazing Jewelry began as a retail franchise operation but collapsed following the collapse of Endless Jewelry.
Amazing Jewelry began as a retail franchise operation but collapsed following the collapse of Endless Jewelry.

At the time, Nielsen announced via Facebook: “Amazing retail is closing, and we are now 100 percent an online company through the brand Jesper Nielsen. We are closing our Amazing company in Denmark and our store on Strøget”.

The closure of Amazing Jewelry came only one month after Nielsen’s company Kasi Brands went into bankruptcy.

On 14 January 2021, Finans.dk reported that Denmark’s Maritime and Commercial Court also declared Nielsen himself bankrupt at the same time.

However, that's not the full extent of Nielsen’s troubles.

According to the website, the Nielsen family's companies Dojajean Holding ApS and Kasi ApS had also gone bankrupt: “They are the parent company and sister company of Kasi Brands, respectively. As is the case with Dojajean Holding and Kasi, Boris Frederiksen from the law firm Poul Schmith has been appointed as trustee in the bankruptcy estate after Kasi Brands,” a report on the site claimed.

Notably, a Finans.dk report dated 8 December 2020 claimed Nielsen had only DKK2.36 ($AU0.50, or $US0.37) in his Danish bank account, while owing DKK64.4 million ($AU14 million), following a “remarkably large flow of funds in the account” including “temporary major deposits [and] significant transfers to unknown recipients”.

Some of the identifiable transfers were “salary payments” from Amazing Jewelry to Nielsen's relatives in Denmark and Spain, as well as companies controlled by the Nielsen family.

The report was based on a statement to creditors authored by another bankruptcy trustee, Henrik Selchau Poulsen.

In the statement, Poulsen reportedly declined to close the case due to ongoing arbitration between Nielsen’s bankrupt company Kasi ApS and Pandora Jewelry.

Ambassadors speak out

Following the closure of the Amazing Jewelry flagship store in February 2021, Nielsen appeared to devote his energy to Jesper Nielsen Jewelry/JN Jewellery.

This venture ditched the traditional wholesaler-to-retailer model altogether and instead operated solely under the network marketing structure.

Mary Francese, Former JN Jewellery member and customer service representative
Mary Francese, Former JN Jewellery member and customer service representative
"I thought, it would be stupid not to pursue this. Pandora was a really successful company. The product, the compensation plan, it all seemed perfect"
Mary Francese, former JN Jewellery member and customer service representative

As previously described, network marketing involves members selling product on a commission-only basis and recruiting new members to sell product; members are paid a percentage of the sales of their recruits – known as the ‘downline’ – which creates the pyramid-shaped or binary compensation commission system. 

This may explain how a reported 76,000 members across international markets were recruited to JN Jewellery in less than a year, with many saying they were attracted to the scheme because of Nielsen’s prior relationship to Pandora.

One JN Jewellery member in the US, Mary Francese, explained to jewellery industry publication JCK Online that she had spent four years working in various MLM businesses, saying that she was first attracted to JN Jewellery through Facebook advertisements.

“Usually very little stands out to me. But with COVID, the kitchenware brand I was working with had a lot of supply backups. And when I saw this post, it talked about jewellery, it talked about how it involved the co-founder of Pandora,” Francese told JCK Online.

“I thought, it would be stupid not to pursue this. Pandora was a really successful company. The product, the compensation plan, it all seemed perfect.”

Following JN Jewellery’s collapse several months later, Francese created the first petition against the business on the activist website Change.org, titled ‘Justice For Our Ambassadors for JN ruining their reputations’.

The petition claimed, “Over 70,000 Ambassadors [salespeople] were working for JN Jewelry [sic]”.

Francese, a stay-at-home mother, explained to JCK that she had “spent nearly seven months selling Jesper Nielsen (JN) jewellery, eventually becoming a company ‘World Leader’ and joining its customer service team” in a paid role; however, the complaints from members quickly overwhelmed her.

"[Nielsen] planted seeds of dreams in over 76,000 people, he got them to spend money for higher commissions… Something was seriously not right"
Former JN Jewellery member

Another member, who contacted Jeweller, said Nielsen “planted seeds of dreams in over 76,000 people, he got them to spend money for higher commissions… Creating urgency to purchase at discounted rates, but it became clear when his sales never stopped and his ‘newly’ named products arrived branded with Endless [Jewelry] and Amazing [Jewelry], that something was seriously not right.”

One member told Jeweller she had joined the business just four weeks before it closed and like many others, was financially out-of-pocket for product inventory.

Describing the unexpected closure of the business, the member said, “On 10 September we were told JN had gone into administration. When we tried to contact customer service and Jesper via Facebook for further information, all points of contact and Jesper’s social media accounts had been closed.

“We have searched for a point of contact for Jesper but he has vanished off the face of the Earth,” she added.

Ongoing Pandora dispute

Nielsen has been embroiled in legal disputes with Pandora since leaving the company a decade ago.

In 2017, Denmark’s Maritime and Commercial High Court ruled that Nielsen had unlawfully used the Pandora trademark to promote Amazing Jewelry.

Nielsen had been warned against using the Pandora name before; in an article titled ‘Riding on the coat-tails of Pandora’, a Danish website covering trademark law reported: “Already back in 2014 the trouble started between the parties [Pandora and Nielsen] but the injunction case started by Pandora was closed with a settlement where Mr Nielsen accepted not to use Pandora as a trademark for his new business.

“Even though the Settlement Agreement was concluded in December 2014, Pandora found reason to voice their concern towards Mr Nielsen’s continuous use of Pandora again in the spring of 2015, and in June 2016 Pandora obtained a default judgment.”

Three years after his departure from Pandora, Nielsen also self-published a book entitled Inside Pandora, and which was promoted as: “A simple and unconventional approach to business by one of the key players behind the billion-dollar global enterprise.”

At the time of Nielsen’s resignation from the Pandora board, his company Kasi ApS – also known as Kasi Group – sold its shares in the business for an initial payment of DKK385 million ($AU83.5 million) with a second payment promised based on future earnings.

In 2015, Nielsen contended that Pandora had not honoured this second payment and insisted that he was owed DKK753 million ($AU164 million) – later increased to more than DKK2 billion ($AU430 million).

Pandora has consistently denied Nielsen’s claim and has won legal judgements against its former executive.

The case has since moved into arbitration; however, Kasi ApS was fined DKK5 million ($AU1.09 million) in 2020 due to Nielsen's breach of a confidentiality clause.

According to a Finans.dk report, the fine was not paid, forcing Kasi ApS into bankruptcy; the collapse of the business was the subject of a police investigation.

According to Danish media, Nielsen was declared personally bankrupt on 17 November 2020 and information presented to Denmark’s Maritime and Commercial High Court indicated he currently lives “for rent” in Majorca, Spain.

During more recent court proceedings, Nielsen is reported as saying: “It is expensive to be Jesper Nielsen, and I am good at making money."

The future for his reported 76,000 JN Jewellery ‘ambassadors’ is unknown – as are any monies owed to them.

Jeweller has attempted to contact Jesper Nielsen and his personal website jespernielsen.com is non-functioning and various emails to the business have ‘bounced’.
 

HISTORY IN THE MAKING
Jesper Nielsen Vs Pandora and Danish Government

While Jesper ‘Kasi’ Nielsen’s disputes and legal proceedings with Pandora and the Danish government go back many years – and continue today – most of the reporting has not extended outside of Denmark.

Two publications, Finans (a financial news website) and Berlingske (the national daily newspaper) have been extensively covering his ‘colourful’ activities since leaving Pandora more than a decade ago.

This is a selection of just some of the stories, and when viewed together they make for some fascinating reading.

Translated Headlines from Berlingskethe Danish national newspaper
Click headlines to view English translation of original articles
30 Sep 2011"Kasi-Jesper is clearly calling for a Pandora response"
28 Dec 2014"The man we called Kasi-Jesper"
3 Jul 2015"Kasi-Jesper demands one billion from Pandora in new arbitration case"
15 Apr 2016"Kasi-Jesper will copy a well-known juice chain with a new jewelery investment"
21 Jul 2016"If this succeeds, I'm brilliant."
4 Sep 2017"The others became honorary citizens while I was rolled in tar and feathers"
12 Sep 2017"Kasi-Jesper in court: You must always accept an offer from Skat"
24 Nov 2017"Kasi-Jesper after victory in court: "There must be a lot of people with a very bad taste in their mouths"
13 Dec 2017"Kasi-Jesper's tax victory stands in power: Ministry does not appeal"
12 Jan 2018"Kasi Jesper loses tax case of large million"
8 Jun 2018"Taxes give the green light to chase Kasi-millions at Pandora"
16 Aug 2018"Stores closed in a row: Kasi-Jesper's business is bankrupt in Germany"
7 Sep 2018"Arbitration must settle disputes between Kasi-Jesper and Pandora"
7 Jan 2019"Kasi-Jesper launches public campaign against Pandora"
9 Jan 2019"Kasi-Jesper charged with illegal loans for double-digit million amount"
11 Jan 2019"Consumer Council warns against Kasi campaign: "You play casino without knowing the odds""
28 Feb 2019"Kasi-Jesper appears lost and embittered in an easy-to-read portrait book"
1 Mar 2019"Kasi-Jesper sat at the gate with mother and sister"
7 Aug 2019"Kasi-Jesper thinks he is closer to a victory against Pandora. He is the only one with that view."
9 Aug 2019"Kasi-Jesper's partners throw in the towel after a new loss of millions"
13 Aug 2019"Kasi-Jesper's company has gone bankrupt after a million fine"
4 Nov 2019"Auditor dumps Kasi accounts: Record deficit and several offenses"
19 Nov 2020"Kasi-Jesper goes personally bankrupt"
9 Dec 2020"Kasi-Jesper has 2.36 kroner in the account after a "remarkably large flow" of money"
28 Dec 2020"Jesper Nielsen does not shake hands despite the threat of bankruptcy"
14 Jul 2021"Kasi-Jesper drops case against Pandora: "A proper gasp""
14 Sep 2021"Kasi-Jesper is accused of cheating"

 

Translated Headlines from Finansa Danish financial news website
Click headlines to view English translation of original articles
1 May 2018"Millions pour into Pandora company after expiration of Kasi-Jesper's bonus deal"
4 Oct 2018"Tax loses case of 245 million. DKK to Kasi-Jesper"
14 Oct 2018"Kasi-Jesper after verdict: I can now score millions"
2 Jan 2019"Kasi-Jesper invites to a party in anticipation of a billion stalls"
18 Jan 2019"Kasi-Jesper sells "ownership shares" to pay bills and victory party"
19 Jan 2019"Kasi-Jesper has been charged with illegal shareholder lending"
9 Aug 2019"Pandora complained about Kasi- Jesper without success"
16 Oct 2019"Here's the secret decision in the billionaire dispute between Kasi-Jesper and Pandora"
4 Nov 2019"The Kasi family dumped by accountant: Has committed several offenses"
22 Nov 2019"Owner confusion in the Kasi family's jewelry company"
16 Dec 2019"Secret shareholding revealed: Kasi is co-owner of Pandora"
1 Jan 2020"Ballad in Kasi's bankruptcy estate: Bankruptcy kings fight behind the scenes"
3 Aug 2020"Prominent curator reports the Kasi family to the police and applies for bankruptcy quarantine"
3 Aug 2020"The Kasi family reported to the police and placed on bankruptcy quarantine"
19 Nov 2020"Kasi-Jesper has been declared personally bankrupt"
8 Dec 2020"Bankrupt Kasi-Jesper has DKK 2.36 in the account after "remarkably large flow of funds""
14 Jan 2021"Another Kasi company declared bankrupt"
24 Feb 2021"Kasi-Jesper Nielsen closes company and flagship store in Copenhagen"
31 Mar 2021"Revised with billions: Now Kasi- Jesper Nielsen's holding company must be closed"
16 Apr 2021"Boris Frederiksen chases millions: Takes another of the Kasi family's companies into bankruptcy"
14 Jul 2021"Kasi-Jesper makes great demands on Pandora"
14 Jul 2021"Kasi-Jesper gives up getting more money out of Pandora"
15 Jul 2021"Kasi-Jesper still does not give up years of fighting with Pandora"
15 Jul 2021"At first he gave up, but now Kasi- Jesper may still continue the fight against Pandora"
14 Sep 2021"Kasi-Jesper closes new giant jewelry store - sellers are furious about missing goods and payments"
14 Sep 2021"Kasi-Jesper closes new jewelry store"
14 Sep 2021"Chamber Advocate is focusing on Kasi-Jesper after new information about the purchase of goods"

 

JESPER NIELSEN IN PICTURES

Nielsen with guests at a promotion for Jesper Nielsen Jewellery.
Nielsen with guests at a promotion for Jesper Nielsen Jewellery.

Nielsen promoting his self-published book
Nielsen promoting his self-published book 'Inside Pandora': A simple and unconventional approach to business ...

Jesper Nielsen with some of his multi-level-marketing
Jesper Nielsen with some of his multi-level-marketing 'ambassadors'.

Nielsen is reported to have said, “It is expensive to be Jesper Nielsen, and I am good at making money."
Nielsen is reported to have said, “It is expensive to be Jesper Nielsen, and I am good at making money."


More reading:

Former Pandora executive accused of abandoning latest jewellery company
‘Business as usual’ after Endless Jewelry collapse
Endless Jewelry reshuffle continues
Nielsen ditches Endless Jewelry for new concept
Sudden exit for Endless Jewelry founder
Endless Jewelry supply to benefit from new recruit
Endless Jewelry nabs Pandora, Julie Sandlau exec
Endless jewellery appoints new leadership
Endless demand fo




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