Pandora ring

How Pandora plans to double its jewelry sales in the United States after passing $1 billion in 2021

After three years of stable or negative revenue growth, Pandora jewelry reached a milestone in 2021. Total revenue reached $3.5 billion in 2021, up 23% from the previous year. In this, he achieved his best year ever.

The US market fueled much of the Danish company’s growth, with year-over-year organic sales up 58%. In another first, the United States hit $1.1 billion in sales in 2021 and now accounts for 30% of total sales, up from 24% in 2020.

To continue its momentum, Pandora has just launched a new strategic plan called Phoenix with the aim of becoming the “largest and most desirable brand in the affordable jewelry market”. The company already claims this badge, so the goal is to expand its lead.

The Phoenix plan is built around four growth pillars:

  1. Building on brand value and customer loyalty. Pandora, which already claims the title of the world’s largest jewelry brand known by more consumers than any other and manufactures more jewelry than any other brand in the industry, will continue to maintain its dominance by using advanced data analytics, social listening and increased media investment.
  2. Strengthen its core design platform. Its charms and chain bracelets, called Moments and Collabs (brand collaborations), are the heart of it, representing 71% of sales. But it is rapidly expanding into new jewelry categories and platforms, called Style and Upstream, now with 29% of sales. These expanded jewelry lines include Pandora Timeless (17%), Pandora Signature (9%) and Pandora ME Targeted GenZ (3%). The company also has high hopes for its lab-grown diamond assortment called Pandora Brilliance, which was initially launched in the UK last year and is set to expand globally.
  3. Personalize the customer experience. This is its omnichannel strategy, anchored by its nearly 7,000 physical retail touchpoints, including 1,423 Pandora-owned concept stores and 5,348 other outlets. Overall, Pandora’s direct-to-consumer retail accounts for 68% of sales, with 42% at Pandora physical stores and 26% through its online stores. Wholesale distribution through franchisees and others accounts for 32% of sales. On the horizon, a new store concept is currently being tested in the UK, Italy and China.
  4. Grow in key markets. Considering the United States and China as its highest potential markets, Pandora expects to triple its revenue in China from its 2019 baseline, when it reached just under 300 million. dollars. China has been particularly problematic over the past two years when its share fell from 9% of revenue in 2019 to 5% in 2021.

United States in 2022 and beyond

And then there’s the United States, both its biggest and its biggest potential market. Here, it plans to double its business from its 2019 baseline when it achieved sales of $700 million. It only has about $300 million left, and it has easily added nearly $400 million over the past year.

Hedging its bets, Pandora is cautious in its forecast for 2022. Overall, it expects to generate organic growth between 3% and 6%, but for the United States, it expects negative single-digit growth. medium to high at the bottom of the scale. and flat to slightly positive on the high end.

He assumes that the US jewelry market will decline between 10% and 20% due to its surprisingly strong post-pandemic recovery. Moreover, other macroeconomic and geopolitical factors – none specifically mentioned, but just look at Ukraine – call for caution.

Regardless of the uncertainties, of which there are many, there is one certainty: Pandora has a steady hand at the helm of its US business thanks to its recently appointed North America Managing Director, Luciano Rodembusch.

Born in Brazil, he joins the company after spending more than 10 years at Tiffany in various international leadership roles, most recently as senior vice president for the Americas, including the United States, Canada, Central America and South America. In addition to jewelry, his experience spans CPG sales, marketing and management at Diageo, Bristol-Meyers Squibb and Proctor & Gamble.

During his first seven months on the job, Rodembusch took a crash course in company culture and familiarized himself with operations. It allowed him to translate the Phoenix plan he inherited into strategies that his American team can execute. He sat down with me to share his view of the US market.

The number one priority is to preserve the gains made in 2021 and use this momentum to drive growth. “With over 50% growth under our belt now, we need to protect that and keep going so that 2022, 20223 and 2024 are our best years as well,” he shares.

Wide range of affordable models

This growth was fueled by the 3.2 million new customers brought to the brand last year. Keeping them engaged shouldn’t be difficult, because by its very nature – the collection of its charms – Pandora has built customer loyalty. The customer cannot stop at buying just one.

“Pandora is the LEGO version of jewelry,” he says. “Just like you can’t walk into a LEGO store without playing with something, we want to provide the same fun experience inside our stores. You never see a sad face on a woman when there’s jewelry out front. It’s the feeling we want to create in our stores.

The affordability of its charm is an important part of the brand’s charm. With prices starting between $25 and $35, it puts Pandora within reach of most consumers’ wallets, and its huge range of charm designs ensures there’s something in the collection for everyone.

“The machine that drives Pandora is innovation,” he shares. “Every time you walk into stores there is something new. No other company can do it at the speed and quality that we do.”

The most recent example of novelty was the mid-February launch of a Marvel Super Hero collection, featuring 11 pieces including a bracelet, ring and charms. “It was the best collaboration we’ve ever done,” boasts Rodembusch. And it faces formidable competition, including Disney, Harry Potter, Star Wars and others.

“Some of the Marvel styles sold out in two hours on e-commerce. We had an incredible response,” he says and adds, “For the first time ever, we gave a special edition to someone who wanted all the the collection. We sold out 100 in a matter of hours online. In particular, the Marvel collection has a unisex appeal and is especially popular with millennials.

While Pandora is known for its flagship charms and charm bracelets, Rodembusch sees an opportunity to turn the tide. “Pandora has become synonymous with charms more than jewelry. We see an opportunity to turn that into a jewelry business that also sells charms.

Thus, the company presents new ways to wear charms. “Charms shouldn’t just be worn on the wrist. You can wear them on a keychain, backpack, purse, necklace, shoelaces and many other places,” he continues.

Expanding the range of jewelry offerings is another essential part of the plan. “We offer very high quality and affordable rings, necklaces and earrings, but the feedback we get from customers sometimes misses them in stores. that we offer,” he says.

More ways to communicate with customers

With so many new customers discovering Pandora in the past year, Rodembusch sees opportunities to reach even more. Currently, the company has approximately 1,500 outlets in the United States, approximately 500 concept stores, half of which are company-owned and the other half are operated by franchisees, and 1,000 independent dealers.

“When we look at geographic sales penetration, we are very strong along the East Coast, compared to the Mid-West, West Coast and Canada. This is where we see large white spaces developing,” he says.

To help Pandora reach a wider US audience, Macy’s is supporting it in a just-announced partnership. After a soft launch in Dallas, Houston, Atlanta and Garden City, NY over the past holiday season, Pandora Boutiques will move to some 28 other Macy’s stores.

It’s a win-win for both companies. “There are still a lot of customers to reach and bring into the brand, so Macy’s is giving us that. We believe this will strengthen our partnership,” Rodembusch said.

And Macy’s shares the same sentiments. “Pandora expands our already strong assortment of fine jewelry,” a Macy’s spokesperson shared with me. “Pandora appeals to young customers and enables us to provide shoppers with more exciting fine jewelry to enhance their shopping experience and enable their personal style.”

As Pandora expands its physical presence in the United States, it will safeguard customer connection with a more personalized online approach. “E-commerce is still very strong for us and continues despite all of our stores having been running for 12 months,” he notes.

“We invest a lot in personalization in the digital world so that when a customer comes to the website, they see a website just for them, not what everyone else sees. It’s a long journey to get there, but we have ambitious plans to be the best in this regard,” he adds.

Even more storytelling

Even though Pandora is a brand known for storytelling, Rodembusch sees ways to extend storytelling further. “Pandora does amazing things, but in a very humble way,” he says.

“From the perspective of the craftsmanship – everything is handmade – and the way the individual designs are selected – the thinking behind why this image of a flower or a dog was chosen – we can give added meaning to each of our pieces with more storytelling at the store level. There’s a lot of extra energy we can bring to stores through storytelling,” he continues.

Always a reason to celebrate

And in a final question about the many uncertainties ahead this coming year, Rodembusch thinks the experience coming out of the pandemic will drive the brand forward.

“During the pandemic, we have all seen how precious life is,” he shares. “And no matter what, people always have something to celebrate. There are weddings, birthdays, anniversaries and other milestones,” he shares.

“We want to put Pandora in their minds to capture those moments for the future, even in difficult times. So for less than $100 or $50 or even $35, you can take home a keepsake that will become an heirloom. , something that reinforces the message that in difficult times we have been through,” he concludes.

This human need to connect and celebrate even when times are tough has been a key driver of Pandora’s breathtaking growth in 2021 and, given the dark clouds on the horizon now, it should also continue to wear it until 2022.