Pandora shut the door and bolted the lock of every single UK and Ireland store at 4pm this afternoon – and said it had no idea when they will open again.
The unprecedented decision – taken to support the government’s containment efforts against COVID-19 – will see both owned and operated and franchise stores temporarily closed until further notice.
The Danish jewellery giant will now channel all its efforts towards driving sales through its website and social media channels.
Kate Walsh, managing director for Pandora UK & Ireland, said: “In an effort to support local authorities, we will temporarily close our UK & Ireland store network. It goes without saying that the wellbeing and safety of our customers and employees remains our key concern and we therefore feel this is the correct course of action. We look forward to welcoming our loyal customers back into stores in the near future.”
According to its last set of published accounts, the company turns over more than £330m in the UK.
It now faces the challenge of trying to persuade customers to buy online in a bid to compensate for the millions of pounds it will lose in store sales.
Pandora operates around 240 concept stores in the UK, with 126 of those owned and operated by the company.
On Thursday, Pandora CEO Alexander Lacik said the health and safety of its customers and employees was its top priority.
As such, he promised to continue normal scheduled base pay for at least eight weeks from when staff are sent home, which will apply to UK employees too.
The UK now follows a number of other markets in shutting the store network for the foreseeable future.
All owned and operated stores in the US, Italy, Germany, France and Spain have already closed.