August 28, 2019 / 8:16 PM / 17 days ago

Jeweller Pandora aims to regain sparkle after LA relaunch

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Danish jewellery maker Pandora (PNDORA.CO) is stepping up efforts to win back shoppers with a brand relaunch in Los Angeles, plus new themed collections based on Harry Potter and Walt Disney’s Frozen and a revamp of its stores.

The new Pandora logo is displayed at an event in Los Angeles, California, U.S., August 28, 2019. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Pandora’s sales increased more than 10-fold in the decade to 2017 as it found a niche between cheaper accessories in stores like H&M (HMb.ST) and more expensive jewellery on offer from Tiffany & Co. (TIF.N)

But more recently a lack of innovation and overstretching itself at the top and bottom end of the market has kept both shoppers and investors at bay.

“Customers tell us they used to think of Pandora as affordable but don’t any more,” Chief Executive Alexander Lacik told Reuters in an interview this week.

“The brand has drifted away from its original position and now we’re trying to move it back to what made Pandora,” said Lacik who took over in April after the former CEO was ousted last year following several profit warnings.

The company, best known for its customisable silver charm bracelets, intends to revamp the design of its 2,700 shops worldwide, increase marketing campaigns featuring celebrities and “influencers” and launch themed collections, including Harry Potter and Walt Disney’s Frozen.

“We have to strengthen our position as an affordable jewellery brand big time,” Lacik said.

The brand relaunch in Los Angeles on Wednesday took place in a street painted entirely pink, Pandora’s new signature colour.

Investors have generally welcomed Pandora’s plans, first launched at the beginning of the year, which also include cost savings, improved brand positioning and fewer promotions.

Pandora’s shares have risen 10% since the beginning of the year to 296 Danish crowns (£36) a share, still far from a 2016 peak of more than 1,000 crowns.

On Thursday the shares were up 2.16% at 0909 GMT.

“It’s crucial for Pandora. This brand relaunch will hopefully show a gradual improvement in its business and an improvement in its fourth quarter, continuing into 2020,” Sydbank analyst Soren Lontoft said.

The company will also show a bigger variety of its jewellery in its stores, allowing shoppers to see and touch the products, while also refreshing the online experience on marketplaces like China’s Tmall.

“We hope to drive a much more interesting interaction with the shoppers,” said Lacik.

Alm. Brand Markets analyst Michael Friis Jorgensen said he hoped to see sales go up as the company works on improving its image. “We would like to see some positive like-for-like sales in the markets where they have initiated these new strategies,” he said.

Reporting by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen; additional reporting by Nikolaj Skydsgaard. Editing by Kirsten Donovan and Jane Merriman

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