The incredible success story of the jeweler Pandora

In Thailand, the production of the Danish group will pass the 100 million coin mark in 2015. The jeweler, who employs 10,000 workers in his plant in Bangkok, is building a new workshop in the north of the country.

They are several dozen, lined up behind desks, concentrated on their work. Patiently, they insert one by one, with long clamps, crystals in bracelets or rings. Welcome to Pandora, north of Bangkok. A giant workshop of handcrafted jewelery, but in industrial quantities: production is expected to reach 100 million pieces this year! The Danish group, whose presence in Thailand dates back to 1989, employs some 10,000 employees in six units. A city in the city.

A margin worthy of the big luxury houses

Just over 30 years after its creation, Pandora is regarded as the world’s third largest jeweler behind Tiffany and Cartier, with a turnover of 1.6 billion euros in 2014, a 32.5% year. By 2015, it is expected to surpass the 2 billion mark. This growth is partly fueled by store openings. On the other hand, the group remains discreet on developments on a like-for-like basis. The company is also very profitable, with a net profit of 416 million (+ 39.5%), and an operating margin (Ebitda) of 36%, worthy of luxury.

A real success story. “No one in the jewelry industry is making it to scale,” said John A. Murphy, the owner of the production site. Every year we buy two billion stones, then hand-set. Our challenge is to continue to surprise our customers, with our creations “. In addition to the stones, Pandora uses silver and 14 carat gold, unlike the costume jewelery that uses a common metal and industrial processes.

A bracelet embellished with small pendants

Although the company was founded in 1982 in a small neighborhood jewelery store in Copenhagen, it was not until 20 years later in 2000, with the launch of the “charms”, that it enjoyed a fulguring success. Bracelet embellished with small pendants, completed over time with birthdays or parties. “Pandora has invented the personalized bracelet, that is to say, unique and with a sentimental value,” notes Patrick Szraga, the head of the subsidiary French. It takes an average of 59 euros for the bracelet, and 39 euros for a charm. The bet of an affordable price for jewelry made, with the same techniques, according to Pandora, as the large houses of the Place Vendôme.

A possible strategy through production in Thailand, where labor costs are low. “We have not relocated production. Manufacturing has started here, “says John A. Murphy. In Bangkok, the average salary in the workshops amounts to 9,000 baths per month, or 225 euros for 40 hours per week (20% more than the legal minimum). The production is spread over 48 hours on average against 82 hours in the rest of the country, with teams day and night.

Dramatic growth

A necessity to cope with the demand boom. Pandora is now present in 90 countries, with 10,000 points of sale, including 1,400 stores, after a box 15 years ago, in the United States (its first market), Australia and Germany. Still in capital, its founders, Per and Winnie Enevoldsen, sold the orders in 2008 to the investment fund Axcel, which introduced the group on the stock exchange in 2010. With the mission, to make it the world’s largest jewelry brand, By remaining accessible. “We can respond to this because we have invested, by leveraging quality stores, launching a digital platform, and increasing production capabilities,” said Murphy.

A new factory in Chiang Mai

In Bangkok, an additional 10 million pieces will be manufactured this year compared to 2014. A record! For instead of the 325 planned store openings, 375 will be inaugurated. In addition to a new building project on the Bangkok site, the group has launched the construction of another plant in the north of the country for about 1 million euros. Located 20 minutes away from Chiang Mai, it will spread out over 12,000 m2 with a cafeteria, park … At its start in October 2016, it should employ 1,000 employees, then increase to 5,000 from 2017. A new direction, Pandora has just signed an agreement with a major Chinese distributor to conquer the world’s first gold enthusiasts