Pandora opens digital hub, appoints new supply chain chief

Jewellery retailer Pandora continues to make changes to its business, with its previously announced digital hub now in operation, and a new chief supply officer (CSO) in place.

The new digital hub, which opened in Copenhagen earlier this week, aims to boost the retailer’s digital presence, omnichannel expertise and use of data. Around 60 new members of staff have been appointed to work at the new facility to date, many of whom were recruited during the recent coronavirus-prompted lockdown.

Pandora has established the space to bring together software engineers, designers, and analysts, as well as strengthen its in-house user experience design studio and data analytics team. The initiative is being led by ex-Marks & Spencer and Dixons Retail digital boss, and former House of Fraser chief customer officer, David Walmsley, who is chief digital & omnichannel officer at Pandora.

Walmsley shared news of the digital hub opening via social media.

The retailer also announced at the end of June it had promoted Jeerasage Puranasamriddhi to CSO. Previously the senior vice president for manufacturing overseeing operations in Thailand, Puranasamriddhi replaces Thomas Touborg, who passed away in April.

As part of the move, responsibility for supply and distribution will move from group operations to the commercial operations under the new chief commercial officer, Martino Pessina, to better connect supply, distribution and consumer demand.

Pandora’s results for the second quarter of its financial year were published this week, showing how the global pandemic impacted the business.

Sales were down by 40% year-on-year, as shops across its international estate were temporarily closed down to help halt the spread of the virus. Online organic growth was reported at 176% for the quarter.

As markets have re-opened following the Covid-19 lockdown, Pandora has increased media spending “to gain early commercial momentum as consumers are returning to stores”.

Pandora said just 20% of its global stores were open at the end of April, but this increased to 51% and 86% by the end of May and June, respectively.