The global jewellery label Pandora is changing their strategy on the American and Canadian market. The company strives to upgrade the customer experience by focusing on fewer retailers, marketing and staff training.
The stores Pandora is terminating includes almost every remaining “silver”-level retailer in USA and Canada, except for those who plan to upgrade to the “gold” or “shop in shop” status.
Laurie McDonald, general manager of Pandora USA says: “For us, upgrading is not just a matter of putting the fixtures in the stores,” says McDonald. “There also has to be marketing and training of the staff. Those are the key elements to the customer experience.”
According to McDonald, she doesn’t think Pandora’s new strategy of closing so many doors will hurt the brand, as she explains that they only represent a very small percentage of the company’s business.
Despite closing over 500 retailers Pandora doesn’t plan any major changes to its store lineup. Pandora is committed to multi-brand retailers: “We don’t see ourselves exiting the multi-brand piece of our business. It is very important. It represents half our business.” McDonald says.
She admits that many of the independent retailers that are being closed feel they played a role in the brand’s success. “We are grateful to each and every one of these dealers. All of them have played a part in Pandora’s growth. But we have to continue to grow and evolve, and we need to reinvent. If they are not willing to do that, it is no longer a good match.”
Some of the retailers have voiced their disappointment regarding the way the global jewellery brand has handled the termination of the business relations, and are disappointed that the cut stepped into action almost immediately “robbing” them from the Christmas sale season – a period very important to small boutiques.
On a positive note other independent dealers highlight that it will be a game changer if smaller labels steps in and take advantage of the gap Pandora’s strategy leaves in the market. Small brands are less dictating than a big global brand like Pandora, which some of the shops see an advantage.
Pandora is not only cutting the small dealers. Earlier this year the company also stopped selling to Nordstrom.