10.Nov .2020 13:00

What impact did the pandemic have on Pandora?

What impact did the pandemic have on Pandora?
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The world's biggest jeweller, Pandora, has no plans for the permanent closure of any of its thousands of stores despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Chief executive Alexander Lacik told the BBC he also intended to continue paying all staff in full.

The firm could "withstand a big drop in sales" before he would even start considering store closures, he said.

At the height of the pandemic, 80% of the company's 2,700 stores around the world were closed.

However, Pandora "kept its staff on the payroll". Even those among the 28,000 employees who were unable to work because stores were closed by government restrictions were paid in full.

Mr Lacik is proud of that and said that as well as this being "a very good decision" for the business, it was the "ethical thing to do" and the loyalty to staff was now being rewarded.

He said: "Looking at how people have kind of returned that when stores reopen, I think it was a fantastic thing to do."
This month, he reckons 18% of the stores will be closed as a second wave of coronavirus sweeps across Europe. That is likely to hurt sales in the run-up to Christmas, which is traditionally one of the busiest times of the year.

As with many other companies, there has been a huge growth in online sales. They almost doubled, growing 89% in the three months to the end of September and accounting for 21% of the company's $648m (£493m) of sales.

Mr Lacik says that despite the huge growth in online, physical retail will "continue being an important part of the industry at large", because consumers want a "seamless" experience between the virtual world and the physical world.
Just over a year ago, the company invested heavily in a big relaunch to allow customers a more hands-on experience in-store.

The stores are "incredibly profitable" and Mr Lacik said his company would not close any for good, because it was "not an average retailer".