Pandora has told “around 100” retailers in Australia and New Zealand that they can no longer sell the company’s jewellery.
In a letter e-mailed to all local Pandora retailers last Monday, Pandora managing director Karin Adcock said that after six years in the market it was time for the company “to part ways” with some stores that have not wanted to “move along” with its “retail concept”.
Speaking to Jewellery World after the email was sent out and followed up with phone calls to the affected store owners, Adcock said that it wasn’t “easy” but the decision to close accounts had to be made as the company was now an international brand.
“We have reached the point where it is crucial that Pandora is presented in a proper branded environment because Pandora is no longer just a brand here in Australia. It is now a brand in many countries across the globe so there is a very high expectation from the end-customer that there is a certain brand experience when they walk into a jewellery store and want to buy Pandora.
“We have tried over the past four years to introduce a proper branded presence in the retail concept and we have had a lot of stores who have really embraced it but then we have some stores who just do the quick sale of charms over the counter and aren’t really investing in the brand –that’s not really fair to the stores who are doing a fantastic job and are working closely with us to develop the brand.
“We think to a large degree the end customers are voting with their feet. They are the ones who are saying ‘I’m going to the store where I can get the proper Pandora experience’ because the savvy Pandora customer expects more than charms when she goes into a store. She wants to see rings and all the other lines too.”
Adcock said that all the stores that will be closing have two months to “sell-through”.
“We will then buy any leftover stock so they can go and find other products to put in,” she said.
The letter sent to retailers appears in full below:
Dear Pandora Retailer,
PANDORA has been operating in the Australian & New Zealand market now for 6 years. During this time it has been a priority to work closely with retail partners to provide customers with the “Pandora Brand Experience”.
This partnership has been very successful, resulting in tremendous growth, benefitting retail
partners and customers alike, who have enjoyed a high level of service from most PANDORA stockists.
2011 sees PANDORA entering a new phase of its lifecycle, within the Australasian market. PANDORA has a distribution network which is extremely diverse, with varying levels of brand experience, being offered by retailers. Such disparity in the levels of brand experience presents its own challenges and research indicates that the primary consumer expectation is that, when customers purchase PANDORA jewellery they are provided with a high level brand experience.
This experience should occur in a suitable environment and should also be consistent across the network – whether it is a multi-branded or a concept store.
We are providing our retail network with opportunities to continue to partner with us on the PANDORA journey. At the same time we appreciate that for some the new phases of the journey are not for them. Being a Global Brand has a responsibility and there is an increased expectation that PANDORA is seen as one Brand – one Voice.
We have over the last 4 years, worked tirelessly on introducing the retail concept where
Multi Branded retailers 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 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.
We appreciate that these moments can be emotional. They are for us as well. We remember our humble beginnings with PANDORA, but the brand and the PANDORA customers are the real determinants of all of our places in the PANDORA universe. As the custodians of PANDORA for the millions of customers worldwide who expect to get a proper branded experience we need to continually change and evolve the way we bring the PANDORA experience to the market.
This week we will be meeting with the retailers we will part with. It will not be easy for us to part ways as we have enjoyed working with all PAN DORA stockists; however the branded experience in a right environment must today drive the decisions for where Pandora is being sold.
The discontinuation process that we have now started, we should be able to finalise within this week.
During this time we will be in direct contact with every single store affected by this.
We greatly appreciate your understanding in this situation