An image from the global ad campaign Pandora launched this spring celebrating women who “do.” The Danish bead and jewelry brand saw sales rise globally in the first quarter but fall in the United States.
Copenhagen, Denmark--Pandora saw its U.S. sales decline for the second quarter in a row due to what it described as a “difficult” retail environment, particularly in the country’s malls.

The Copenhagen-based bead brand reported Tuesday that revenue in the United States was down 7 percent (10 percent in local currency) year-over-year in the first quarter.

Excluding the effects of the closing of 600 other points of sale (non-concept stores) and a large, one-off shipment to Jared the Galleria of Jewelry in Q1 2016, U.S. sales would have been flat.

The U.S. results were a drag on the performance of the Americas region, which recorded a 5 percent (9 percent in local currency) drop in sales to $247.4 million in the first quarter.

In addition to the slow mall traffic in the U.S., the company--which is focusing its marketing and promotional efforts on earrings, rings and necklaces--said introducing fewer new bracelets and charms for Valentine’s Day impacted sales.

Under its new reporting structure, Pandora no longer breaks out the number of “multi-branded stores”--a group that included the independent jewelers who carry the brand but don’t have shop-in-shops--in each market.

This metric has been a particular point of interest for independents in the U.S., many of whom have been cut out of Pandora’s distribution network in recent years.

Instead, Pandora now gives a count of concept stores in its largest markets and a global tally of what it now classifies under “other points of sale,” which includes multi-branded stores as well as shop-in-shops.

According to the figures released Tuesday, Pandora had 349 concept stores in the U.S. as of the end of the first quarter, compared with 328 a year ago, a 6 percent increase.

Globally, its other points of sale have shrunk by 16 percent in that same time frame, from 7,174 to 5,993.

The company also said it acquired 33 franchise concept stores in Q1, including 18 in the United States. It said revenue in company-owned and -operated concept stores is, on average, nearly 2.5 times higher than the revenue from a comparable concept store owned by a franchisee.

Globally, Pandora saw first quarter sales increase 9 percent (8 percent in local currency) year-over-year to $754 million. Revenue from Pandora-owned retail stores now represents 38 percent of total revenue.

A strong performance in the Asia-Pacific region and strength in ring, earring and necklace sales helped to offset the brand’s relatively weak performance in the United States and the slowdown in charm and bracelet sales.

Gross margin was 73.3 percent, down from 74.6 percent in the first quarter 2016, while EBITDA increased 7 percent to $274.6 million.

“We are very pleased with the performance in our important growth markets, with Italy, France and China continuing to show strong sales growth,” CEO Anders Colding Friis said in a company statement. “However, the retail climate in the U.S. remains difficult, which was reflected in our performance.”

During the first quarter, Pandora opened a second factory in Thailand and announced its expansion into India through a partnership with Pan India Charms & Jewellery Private Limited (Pan India).

The company’s guidance for 2017 remains unchanged. The Denmark-based bead and jewelry brand expects full-year sales to range from $3.36 billion to $3.50 billion, up from $2.92 billion last year.

Pandora plans to open 275 new concept stores in 2017, 25 percent (about 69 stores) of which will be located in the Americas.

Of those 275 stores opening globally, about half will be owned by Pandora, while the remaining 50 percent will be split equally between franchisees and third-party distributors.

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