New Mulan and Mushu Pandora Charms Bring Honor to Us All on shopDisney

The warrior princess provides the inspiring directive ”Be strong and Be yourself” on this dangle charm by Pandora Jewelry. A finely detailed Mulan figural charm with enamel accents hangs from a ball encrusted with sparkling cubic zirconia.

Created especially for Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort

  • Sterling silver figural Mulan dangle charm
  • Enamel accents
  • Disc dangle charm with ”Be strong and Be yourself” engraved on one side
  • Cubic zirconia on ball
  • Attaches to Pandora Jewelry bracelet, sold separately
  • Inspired by Disney’s Mulan (1998)
  • Part of the Disney Parks Collection by Pandora Jewelry
  • Sterling silver / enamel / cubic zirconia
  • Imported

Lessons of lockdown: jewellers face the future of retail

Part I: As COVID-19 restrictions begin to lift, businesses must prepare for a new set of challenges by reflecting on the changes wrought by the pandemic. ARABELLA RODEN reports.
BY THE NUMBERS
COVID-19 IMPACTS

7.1%

Australian unemployment rate in May 2020
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics
________

200,000

Australians shopped online for the first time in April 2020 
Source: Australia Post

_________

40%

of the population – Gen Z and Millennials – has been significantly financially affected by the pandemic
Source: McKinsey &Co

_________

2021

the Australian Retailers Association’s proposed end date for JobKeeper assistance to select retailers

_________

24%

increase in pedestrians recorded at Bourke Street Mall North on 20 June, compared with four-week average
Source: City of Melbourne Pedeistrian Counting System

For the retail sector, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic was felt instantly. As fear and panic gripped the nation, consumers rushed to stockpile essentials, while discretionary spending dived to levels unseen in decades.

Many retailers – particularly in regional areas – watched helplessly as their hopes for a swift recovery from last summer’s horror bushfire season were extinguished.

Without explicitly banning non-essential retail, government lockdowns effectively prevented bricks-and-mortar businesses from trading by confining Australians to their homes. At the same time, swathes of the population were furloughed, made redundant, or had contracts cancelled.

These new dynamics created – or accelerated – a number of trends that will continue to affect the Australian retail landscape in the months and years to come, altering consumer behaviour as well as the practicalities and logistics of retail sales.

Speaking on the podcast of retail futurist and Jeweller contributor Steven Van Belleghem, Jon Bird, CEO of marketing and communications agency VMLY&R (Australia and New Zealand), said the pandemic had “an extraordinary effect on retail”.

“A lot of change has been compressed into an extraordinary amount of time – a lot of change, from a behaviour point of view, which has been influenced of course by COVID-19 and the fact that people have been locked down in their homes, remote working, having to pick up on digital technologies, forced to change,” he explained.

Bird defined the changes to retail in three categories – ‘hands’, ‘head’, and ‘heart’: “The hands point of view is how physical retail will be different, particularly around touch; from a heads perspective, how the digital ‘smarts’ around retail are rapidly changing; and from a hearts perspective, how the emotions around consumption and shopping are shifting.”

Over the course of the lockdown period, these changes have not been ignored by retailers; rather, many business owners have been forced to re-evaluate their approach and make efforts to adapt to a new reality, shaped by forces beyond
their control.

Economic fallout

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), retail turnover figures saw their largest fall on record in April 2020. However, preliminary figures for May surged 16.3 per cent, the largest rise in the 38 years of the survey.

Yet Andrew Hanlan, senior economist Westpac, noted that the “wild ride” still resulted in retail sales 0.4 per cent below their pre-COVID level, adding that “weak income growth and fragile [consumer] confidence” would continue to weigh down retail in the coming months.

Indeed, all Australian states and territories recorded rising unemployment in May 2020, with the largest losses recorded in Victoria, New South Wales, and Western Australia; the national unemployment rate stood at 7.1 per cent, an increase of 2 per cent from February 2020.

The combined impacts of the pandemic have led Australia into a recession for the first time in 29 years, and experts have cautioned against the retail sector relying on the ‘sugar hit’ of the Federal Government’s JobKeeper and enhanced JobSeeker payments.

“The ‘hands’ point of view is how physical retail will be different, particularly around touch; from a heads perspective, how the digital ‘smarts’ around retail are rapidly changing; and from a ‘hearts perspective, how the emotions around consumption and shopping are shifting”

Combined, the packages are paid to approximately 7.6 million people and have enabled many businesses to continue operating by boosting consumer spending.

However, the payments were, at the time of publication, due to expire on 27 September.

Speaking at a Senate committee meeting in late May, Dr Philip Lowe, governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia, cautioned, “It’s going to be very important to keep the fiscal support going. It’s very important that we do not withdraw fiscal stimulus too early.”

He added, “Even as the recovery gets under way, there will still be a shadow cast by the pandemic. As a country, we will need to turn our minds as to how to move out of this shadow. A reform agenda that makes Australia a great place for businesses to expand, invest, innovate and hire people would certainly help.”

Paul Zahra, CEO of the Australian Retailers Association (ARA), said that while the retail sector was “shifting out of crisis towards recovery”, the economic recession indicated that “recovery will be slow”.

The ARA has called on the Morrison government to extend JobKeeper to selected retailers until February 2021, in order to support vital pre- and post-Christmas trading.

Speaking to the Australian Financial Review, Zahra said, “At this stage we’re facing a cliff and we’d prefer a slope. Retailers plan to batten down the hatches anyway, this will give them some relief to get them through this all important trading period.”

Indeed, many jewellery retailers have been among those to access the JobKeeper program. “We are lucky to be in Australia – I expected this to be a lot worse,” said Michael Sobbi of Linda & Co Designer Jewellers in Sydney.

“I think with the government grants and strong online sales, we are riding the wave to normality.”

The importance of having a financial buffer in place has been noted by a number of jewellery retailers and retail experts.

Steven Jansen, owner SS Impressions Jewellery Design Studio in Perth, advised, “Always have a rainy day fund – in both monetary and materials areas – for at least six months.”

“The empty shops left by store closures and the inevitable retail collapses we’ll see in the post-COVID-19 environment will increase the power of retailers to extract better deals from landlords”

Nikhil Jogia, of Jogia Diamonds, also based in Perth, added, “Businesses, in any industry, that were struggling with weak balance sheets have faced the most trouble. Therefore, now more than ever would be a good time to build a stronger, more resilient balance sheet – whether that means lowering debt or increasing cash levels.”

Meanwhile, Van Belleghem emphasises flexibility: “Forecasting and predicting business has become almost impossible. Today it is important to think in terms of scenarios. Be ready to reinvent your business.”

Ben Manning, director Utopian Creations in Adelaide, said, “We have been working hard to improve the way our business functions – from improving our POS system right through to renovating our store and adding to our website. It’s an important opportunity to focus on the things that will help my business succeed once the country opens back up.”

 

New Pandora Charm for Annual Passholders at Disneyland and Disney World!

There’s a lot of perks to being a Disney Annual Passholder from discounts on merchandise to complimentary parking and event ticket discounts. That being said, one of our favorite perks is the special merchandise that Disney creates just for annual passholders.

This isn’t the first time that Pandora jewelery has released a specific Pandora charm for annual passholders but it’s great that they continue to work with Disney to create unique merchandise.

The charm at both the Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland is very similar with the only key difference being the wording depending on where you manage to pick the charm up from.

Here’s a closer look at the charm:

Disneyland 2020 Annual Passholder charm
Credit: Disney

We hear you, how much is this going to set you back and where can you purchase this lovely looking charm?

The charm retails for $85 and can be found at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World in Uptown Jewelers and La Mascarade d’Orleans within New Orleans Square at Disneyland.

We have another great little tip for all you annual passholders… If you purchase these charms in the parks you tend to get the annual passholder discount. If you find them in the Pandora locations at Downtown Disney and Disney Springs we’ve often found that the discount doesn’t apply!

Outside of annual passholder Pandora jewelry, Disney Parks has some fantastic unique charms that you can only purchase inside of the parks. You can buy unique Disney pandora charms and a pandora jewelry bracelet and begin filling it with unique charms.

Recently Disney has even released Star Wars Pandora charms but our favorites are still the ones focused on the parks like this one from Disney’s Animal Kingdom:

Animal Kingdom Pandora charm
Credit: Disney

 

If you’re looking to book a trip soon then visit our friends at Academy Travel for a free, no-obligation quote. The team of Authorized Disney Vacation Planners at Academy Travel can help answer all your questions and plan your trip so you can focus on having a magical Disney vacation without any stress. 

If you have an annual pass and are thinking about getting this new Pandora charm let us know in the comments below!

Pandora jewelry just dropped a Harry Potter collection

Pandora has been charming customers for almost 40 years, most notably with their ubiquitous bracelets. Now the company is adding a little magic — of the Hogwarts variety.

Pandora dropped their Harry Potter collection Thursday, consisting of 12 products — including charms, pendants and a bracelet. All are inspired by the characters and symbols from the iconic Harry Potter books.

Yes, that does include individual charms for every Hogwarts House, as well as little renderings of the series most popular characters: Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Hermoine Granger and even Dobby.

It’s the jewelry our childhood selves always wanted.

Most of the charms will run you $55, while the golden snitch pendant and the golden snitch clasp bangle are both listed as $90 a piece.

This isn’t the first tribute to the classic wizarding series, first published in 1997 and written by J.K. Rowling. Earlier this year, shoe brand Vans released their own tribute to Harry and his friends, too.

Half a billion Harry Potter books have been sold in the last 22 years, and the series has been translated into 80 languages.

With its own theme park, movies, shoes and now jewelry line, it’s clear the adventures of Harry, Ron and Hermoine continue to resonate, despite the series ending in 2009 with the seventh book.