By all accounts, Pandora’s collaboration with Marvel has been nothing short of wonderful, helping to boost the Danish jeweler’s Q1 revenue by 21% to 5.69 billion Danish kroner, or 764.7 million euros.
The animated reconciliation, which debuted in February, has generated some 40 million social media impressions – and a waiting list of 17,000 and counting for The Avengers Infinity Stones ring, priced at $100.
“The biggest question we get from our customers is, ‘When will Spiderman appear in our assortment? this Marvel franchise: “With great power comes great responsibility.”
In total, Marvel merchandise — including charm bracelets with dangling Thor’s hammer charms and Captain America’s shield — accounted for 3% of first-quarter sales and 6% since launch, Lacik said, also noting that the Marvel range surpassed previous collaborations with “Star Wars” and “Harry Potter”.
While signaling a host of headwinds for the rest of the year, the company nonetheless raised its forecast for organic revenue growth, which is now expected to be 4-6%, from 3-6%, for the whole of the year 2022.
Pandora maintained its EBIT margin forecast between 25% and 25.5% while warning that “the financial forecast for 2022 is subject to high uncertainty”.
The Danish jewelry giant said consumer demand “generally remained healthy in April” despite inflation and rising interest rates.
He also pointed to the negative impacts of war in Ukraine, cost inflation and COVID-19, particularly in China and Thailand, where manufacturing is centered.
Pandora will also face a tougher comparable base in the second quarter, due to fewer pandemic lockdowns and stimulus packages in the US in the prior year quarter.
Nevertheless, the upgraded sales forecast reflects strong momentum in markets like Latin America. Revenue from its “rest of the world” basket rose 27% in the quarter, Pandora’s executive vice president and chief financial officer Anders Boyer told analysts during the webcast.
Pandora cited double-digit organic growth across Europe, with the UK at 32% and Germany at 43%.
Revenue increased 7% in the United States, representing a 62% improvement over the first quarter of 2019. The company acquired 32 franchise stores, most of them on the West Coast, and entered into a new partnership with Macy’s during the period.
Online channel sales fell 17% in the quarter, reflecting widespread pandemic lockdowns in the first three months of 2021 that stoked e-commerce. The gain was 155% compared to 2019.
In a research note, Freetrade analyst Gemma Boothroyd wrote that Pandora’s lack of progress on the digital front is concerning. “Pandora’s ability to capture higher online spending is a huge barrier to getting a bigger share of the Chinese market,” Boothroyd said.
Sales in China fell 18% from 2021 and 57% from 2019, signaling a rise in that market.
Lacik told investors that a stimulus package and marketing campaign in China would be postponed “until market conditions stabilize”, likely in 2023. He also cited executive change Irving Holmes Wong taking the reins after working for brands such as Revlon, L’Oréal and Bacardi-Martini.
Pandora noted that all of its activities with Russia and Belarus have been suspended and that “those markets represent approximately 1% of its revenue”.
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