By Lenore Fedow
Pandora said its previously stated financial guidance is “no longer meaningful” as it did not take into consideration the effects of the coronavirus.
Copenhagen, Denmark—Pandora has closed its U.S stores for the next two weeks in light of coronavirus concerns, the company announced Wednesday.

Its stores in Italy, Spain, Germany and France are also closed temporarily while in China, Pandora stores have reopened and traffic is slowly improving, it said.

Pandora said it would encourage its franchisees and partners in affected markets to voluntarily close as well.

The company’s jewelry is sold in more than 100 countries through 7,400 points of sale, including 2,700 concept stores.

Its manufacturing facilities in Thailand and regional distribution centers continue to operate without “notable impact,” and Pandora’s online store is still up and running.

Many of the jeweler’s 28,000 employees are working from home and all business travel has been put on hold.

In a letter addressed to the Pandora community, CEO Alexander Lacik said the company will continue scheduled base pay for at least eight weeks for staff that has been sent home.

If the stores remain closed past that point, Lacik said Pandora may adjust its approach and, where available, make use of government relief programs to help pay employees.

The company is scheduled to release its first-quarter results on May 5, but has scrapped its most recent financial guidance as the escalation of the coronavirus weighs on its performance.

The Danish jeweler did not account for how widespread the impact of the coronavirus would be when it provided guidance in February.

The company expected like-for-like sales to improve from their 8 percent dip in 2019 to a negative “mid-single-digit” result in 2020 while organic growth was expected to be down 3 to 6 percent.

Pandora did not provide an updated financial forecast, but did share insight into how it has fared in recent months.

The company said its performance was strong in January and February, especially online sales, and the company reported positive like-for-like sales in some key markets.

Total like-for-like sales, excluding China, were better than expected but the spread of the coronavirus has led to weakness across all markets in recent weeks. 
RELATED CONTENT: Pandora Trims Workforce Again Amid Reorganization
Like-for-like sales in China have dropped 70 to 80 percent since late January. Though revenue has improved slightly in China, the company said a return to normalcy will take time and is, ultimately, out of its control.

Pandora’s top three markets, the United States, United Kingdom and Italy, have all been grappling with the coronavirus outbreak.

Markets affected by lockdowns and other governmental restrictions are expected to generate “negligible” revenue.

Nevertheless, Pandora expects to maintain strong profitability in the first quarter of 2020 and said it can absorb several months of a downturn in in-store traffic while still remaining profitable and generating cash for the full year.

Get the Daily News >
National Jeweler

Fine Jewelry Industry News

Since 1906, National Jeweler has been the must-read news source for smart jewelry professionals--jewelry retailers, designers, buyers, manufacturers, and suppliers. From market analysis to emerging jewelry trends, we cover the important industry topics vital to the everyday success of jewelry professionals worldwide. National Jeweler delivers the most urgent jewelry news necessary for running your day-to-day jewelry business here, and via our daily e-newsletter, website and other specialty publications, such as "The State of the Majors." National Jeweler is published by Jewelers of America, the leading nonprofit jewelry association in the United States.