Pandora: ‘Apple is the benchmark for jewellery retailers to follow’

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - FEBRUARY 13:  People take photos in front of Brazil's first Apple retail store in the Village Mall shopping center on February 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The store is a 'pavilion' design with a 100-foot curved glass panel in front and opens to the public February 15, four months before the 2014 FIFA World Cup. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Pandora is challenging its partners to become the very best retailers in their towns and cities – and has cited Apple as the ultimate benchmark for retail success.

The jewellery giant this week posted annual financial results that revealed sales in the UK surged a whopping 50% last year.

But despite growing its UK turnover to nearly £260m, the company’s president for Western Europe, Peter Andersen, insists it is firmly focused on looking forwards rather than back.

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Speaking to Professional Jeweller recently, before the results announcement, Anderson agreed that Apple had mastered the retail model. “I love going into Apple stores. You are met as you go into a store. They serve you from an iPhone. The products are always in store. Apple does retail very, very well,” he said.

Asked if was possible to imagine Pandora stores morphing into something looking and behaving like an Apple store, Andersen said: “We are trying. We are already starting to sell in store from iPads. Sales staff can even swipe credit cards from these iPads so there is no need to go to the tills.”

Anderson added that Pandora needs its franchisees to think like retailers, not just as jewellers. “They need to become much better retailers,” he said. “Retailers think about every aspect of retail. I don’t think jewellers think that way. They think that they are good retailers, but they could be so much better.”

He said that while 2015 had been a “fantastic year” for the business, there was no danger of it sitting back and becoming complacent.

“That would be the beginning of the end. I want to push our franchisees. I want to push them to become the best retailers around, not just the best jewellers. I want our owner-operated stores to be even better. We want to be the best retailers out there,” he said.

The full interview with Peter Andersen can be read here.

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