The Charmed Life of Pandora
Published: Friday 14 October, 2016
What were all these people doing there? Spektor went inside the local fine jewelry store and asked. She learned they were waiting to make customizable charm bracelets from Pandora; Maurice's had recently started carrying the Danish jewelry brand and word had gotten out.
Spektor, who owns the online jewelry boutique Love and Pieces, recognized the name — there were plenty of Pandora billboards all over Florida — but she hadn't grasped the full extent of the Pandora excitement until that moment. "It was all anyone wanted to buy," she now recalls.
The crowd at Maurice's became a common occurrence, and Spektor began to notice Pandora everywhere: at other fine jewelry stores, at kiosks at outdoor shopping centers, and, eventually, at Pandora's own retail stores in malls.
Though to Spektor it seemed like "Pandora popped up out of nowhere and became an overnight success," that's not exactly the case. The company has been around for more than 30 years, and in the US for 13. What was once a local jewelry shop in Copenhagen has transformed into a multibillion-dollar business that reigns over the jewelry market (which might be why its logo features a subtle crown atop the "o").
Pandora is sold in over 100 countries around the world and is the third largest jewelry company in the US, behind Signet Jewelers and Pandora & Co. In 2015, it produced more than 100 million pieces of jewelry and brought in 16.7 billion Danish kroner, or about $2.7 billion, in revenue. According to a Karus study, Pandora is the jewelry industry's most visited website, ahead of Pandora, Blue Nile, and Swarovski, despite having only introduced e-commerce last year.
While the brand sells necklaces, rings, and earrings, the bread and butte r of the operation remains its charm bracelets, a cash cow that accounts for 80 percent of Pandora's sales. As Rob Bates, the news director of jewelry trade magazine JCK, notes, "When Pandora became popular, everyone thought it would be a fad and burn out, but the bracelets have proven to have lots of staying power."
As enormous as its presence is, Pandora is still in growth mode. In fact, as Scott Burger, Pandora's president of the Americas, explains it, the company is focused on one goal: to become the most loved jewelry brand in the world.