Pandora: top to tail and technology changes at jeweller

Jewellery retailer Pandora underwent a complete global brand refresh last year, resulting in a new store design, fresh product ranges, and celebrity endorsements. A multichannel marketing campaign, including major TV coverage, supported the move.

Pandora CEO, Alexander Lacik, said at the time that the move was to strengthen its core proposition, and he talked about the “complete renewal of our entire consumer experience”.

And it seems that attitude stretches to staff experience, too. The Denmark-headquartered retailer announced a raft of structural amendments at the start of March, with plans to close its three regional organisations and remove the layer between global headquarters and the local markets in which it operates at a cost of almost 200 jobs.

Of course, it is not yet known what the impact of the global health emergency caused by the spread of the coronavirus, Covid-19, will have on retail businesses’ previously agreed strategies, but before the health crisis Pandora was set to combine its 100+ markets into ten clusters.

Each cluster is to be headed by a general manager (GM), who will report to a new chief commercial officer, who is set to be announced in due course.

Digital hub

As part of the reorganisation, Pandora expects to invest in building stronger global functions including marketing, digital, merchandising and business intelligence.

In January, Pandora revealed it was establishing a ‘Digital Hub’ in Copenhagen, in order to boost the retailer’s digital presence, omnichannel expertise and use of data.

The new group has been created to bring together software engineers, designers, and analysts, combined with an in-house user experience design studio, and a strengthened data analytics team. Prior to the Covid-19 outbreak in Europe, Pandora expected to hire around 80 new employees in 2020, and expand further in 2021, with key roles including product managers, digital engineers, strategy managers and data analysts.

UK and Ireland in-store technology refresh

In-keeping with changes at Pandora head office, the jewellery retailer’s UK and Ireland stores have also undergone a technology-related refresh.

An electronic point-of-sale (EPoS) upgrade has been completed throughout its 151 stores in the UK and Ireland, with Vista Retail Support helping refurbish the existing legacy EPoS, and installing new payments and in-store tech.

Vista’s project team was required to stage, refurbish, configure, and install over 1,300 devices including HP Engage One systems, Epson M30 receipt printers, existing Aures EPoS systems, Surface Pro tablets, and Adyen Verifone payment devices.

Vista used its internal logistics and stock management system to carry out a full audit of devices. On-site installation documentation was produced by Vista and Pandora’s IT team, with PoS systems and back-office tablets pre-configured before arriving in store.

Pandora's attention has now turned to keeping employees and customers safe, in light of the escalating coronavirus crisis. 

As of 19 March, Pandora had temporarily closed all its stores in the US, Italy, Germany, France and Spain. Most of its other European markets have seen store networks impacted to some degree, with UK stores ordered to close by the nation’s prime minister, Boris Johnson, on 23 March.

Pandora’s newly branded online stores are still open in all markets, and Lacik said: “Thanks to Pandora’s strong position, we will get through this serious downturn together.”

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