The Renaissance of Pandora

The company ignore the crisis


Founded by the Dane Per Enevoldsen and his wife Winnie in 1982, Pandora ignores the crisis and continues to sell to the world its small silver bracelets to which customers add new pendants, according to birthdays, parties, births, trips …


On Tuesday, November 11, the group listed on the Copenhagen Stock Exchange since 2010 has released new quarterly results in very strong growth. Revenues jumped 29% in the first nine months of the year compared to the same period in 2013. In the third quarter, sales increased by 26.2% to € 382.3 million . Net income rose by 41% over nine months and by 18.46% to 97.4 million euros in the last quarter.


CEO Allan Leighton, who will move his chair in March 2015 to Anders Colding Friis, has revised upwards its forecast for 2014 by betting on a turnover of 1.55 billion euros (against 1.2 billion in 2013 ) And gross operating income (eBITDA) equivalent to 35% of sales. This meteoric growth is possible only by producing entirely in Thailand with a highly skilled labor at low prices.


The plant is soon too small – volumes have increased by more than 15% over the past year – and the group will start construction of another production site in 2015, 700 kilometers north of Bangkok. Pandora has earned a strong reputation in the United States, Great Britain and Australia and Germany, its four major markets.


The lowest salary is fixed at 220 euros


These small wax “trees” are then embedded in plaster and placed in an oven. Here, it is rather the domain of men, in overheated rooms or in a kind of shed where one must wear rubber boots not to slip on the water. With cooking, the coating hardens, the wax melts, burns and leaves the imprint of the wax shaft. The molten silver, in the liquid state, is then injected and the molds, at the end of cooking, are immersed in water baths.


These are the trades that require the least skill. Also, the workers are crammed into large desks, with just a minimum space for unstrapping – the operation of separating the metal pieces from their tree. They wear ear plugs so they do not have to endure a hell.


On the floor, the tasks are more noble, such as those of embossing or polishing. An army of highly qualified critics finish the rarest pieces, studded with real small diamonds – most are synthetic diamonds. The direction ensures that the colored glass comes from Murano to be, with an agile and fast hand, turned into small round pearls.


In this factory, where work schedules are usually from 8 am to 5.30 pm or from 10 pm to 7.30 am, working time must not exceed sixty hours per week. Overtime included. The lowest salary is set at 9,000 baht per month (220 euros) but the average salary reaches 400 euros.


“For pandora, france is still an emerging country”


This is not the highest within Gemopolis. Mr Nyborg, however, boasts of having a strong social policy – with 13 “home” bus lines that allow employees to come and go home, a small supermarket where basic necessities are sold cheaper, The possibility of following a series of trainings, a library, maternity leave more generous than elsewhere …. He is also very proud to have set up an annual day where all the staff can go to the beach or go with a family to a theme park.


Almost martial, he asserts that “the staff does not want a union,” although it is a constitutional right. “There is a welfare committee” of about fifteen elected representatives, he explains, assuring us that, unlike the other factories in Gemopolis, there were no strikes at Pandora.


“For Pandora, France is still an emerging country,” says Patrick Szraga, CEO France. The Danish group is working hard: Twenty boutiques have been opened in the year, bringing to 45 points of sale in the Hexagon. He expects to double sales within three years. He is convinced that “one can make jewelery of excellent quality in Thailand, much better than in France where the hour of manufacture is so expensive that it is frequent to go faster to finish a jewel”.