Claus Peter Jakobsen, MD, Scandinavian Brand House: sole distributor of PANDORA Jewellery in South Africa, chats with Neighbourhood about how the Pandora Jewellery brand found a home in South Africa eight years ago
PANDORA is an international Danish jewellery manufacturer and retailer founded in 1982 as a family-run jewellery shop in Copenhagen. Claus Peter Jakobsen tells us how the brand charmed its way into South Africans’ hearts.
Q: Why did you decide to bring the Danish brand to South Africa?
A: PANDORA started in May 2009 in South Africa. It was an easy decision as PANDORA was one of the most powerful brands within the jewellery sector in the world. To say no to this fabulous brand was never an option. I am proud and amazed by the craftsmanship which goes into each product from PANDORA.
The product that is “simplest” to make goes through 16 different sets of hands before coming out as a finished product. PANDORA is constantly striving to improve the footprint it leaves on this earth and has a very stringent corporate social responsibility policy, which is important to me.
Q: Where in South Africa did PANDORA first launch?
A: For strategic reasons, we launched in Gauteng. But shortly after opening our doors, we were quickly overrun with requests from all over the country.
Q: How has South Africa influenced the brand?
A: South Africans have taken PANDORA in with open arms, and most of our clients today use our beautiful charms to build their own memories. Our bracelets are like a photo album on your wrist, and with the introduction of the Big Five charm we’re offering something truly South African to the world as part of the global collection.
PANDORA is inspired by all aspects of a woman’s life as well as the elements of nature. In most cases, the real designer is each customer as they create and build their own stories and designs with the charms.
Q: Where are PANDORA shops located?
A: We are in most major malls in South Africa and neighbouring countries. We’re also located in select Edgars Premium stores.
Q: How does a store’s location influence your product offering?
A: The beauty of South Africa is that all areas draw in a different market. We offer a carefully selected product range within each location to cater to what the relevant market needs. Cape Town PANDORA store may sell a different range from a PANDORA store in Bloemfontein. Assessing the market’s local needs is a necessity for success.
Q: Are PANDORA shoppers online, or do they prefer a physical store?
A: We have never closed a store down in SA, and we see continuous growth each year, but our online store is doing better and better, and continues to surprise us. I believe we need an online presence, but to experience the brand in all its glory, and allow our expertly trained staff to give you a PANDORA experience in one of the concept stores, is the best way do it.
Q: What advice or insight do you have for other business owners starting out?
A: South Africa is a fantastic place to be. Stick to the plan and stay committed to the goals you have set yourselves and then success will be around the corner. Remember, though; South Africa doesn’t have the purchasing power of places like Europe or the US, so be realistic. Create a culture within your organisation where your team are part of the process in building a company that they are proud of.
- PANDORA is continually doing more to reduce its environmental impact and promote sustainable behaviours by championing conscious practices across all areas of production – from design, materials and supply chain to, most importantly, happy and healthy people.
- PANDORA believes in using ethically sourced materials, including environmentally friendly stones, and recycled gold and silver.
- What characterises PANDORA jewellery is excellent design and craftsmanship. Each piece is hand-finished to exacting standards.
- With every collection, PANDORA refines its innovations and pushes the boundaries of what is technically possible. It’s long-lasting jewellery for personal expression and for expressing sentiments.
- PANDORA proudly launches “DO” – a new multifaceted campaign that will inspire women to be true to themselves and what they believe in.
- Mentoring young women, pursuing humanitarian work or leading a business, the energetic women introduced in the new campaign embody what DO is all about.
Share your start-up business advice with us and stand a chance to win a unique PANDORA piece. Simply comment below:
011 706 2377