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Pandora's Baltimore workforce smaller than announced

Danish retailer Pandora Jewelry announced last week it will move its regional headquarters for the Americas into a large chunk of a Baltimore tower and showcase its brand along the downtown skyline.

A big win for the city, Pandora's relocation next year from Columbia to 250 W. Pratt St. will bring jobs downtown. But just how many?

That, it turns out, is open to interpretation.

The company's July 17 announcement said Pandora would become one of the city's largest employers with more than 600 workers. The retailer known for its charm bracelets said later that day that 250 employees would move to the more than 87,000-square-foot Pratt Street office space, housing sales, marketing and other administrative departments. Pandora said another 150 workers would remain in the Columbia offices to handlesupply chain, customer service and distribution functions.

On Friday, the company confirmed that the number of workers to be based downtown actually will be far fewer at 140.

"As a headquarters for such a broad territory, employees in the office include people that work there every day and also field employees who may be in the office for various meetings, training, etc.," said Lynn Smith, chief human resources officer for Pandora Americas, in an email. "We have a fairly fluid and mobile workforce — with team members spending a sizable amount of time in and out of the headquarters location."

Smith said the 250 figure includes an estimate of the number of employees that might be in the office on any given day.

As for the July 17 announcement that the move would bring in "one of the city's largest employers, with over 600 employees," it turns out that number should have been much higher — more than 700 — but that represents all its workers across the Americas, said Keshia Holland, a Pandora spokeswoman.

"We've been growing so fast and trying to fulfill specific immediate needs," Holland said. "The growth has been quick. The 600 [employee count] was an estimate of employees across all the Americas. It was a gross underestimate. We're growing faster than we can all keep up."


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