The new Hermès factory in Allenjoie (Doubs), a large wooden building of 5,800 m2 bathed in natural light, April 5, 2018
The Hermes luxury group inaugurated Friday a new factory in Allenjoie (Doubs), its sixteenth on the French territory entirely devoted to leather goods, to meet the strong global demand for its bags.
“This inauguration shows our commitment to artisanal production and job creation in France, and is indicative of the attraction for the quality of our know-how,” Axel Dumas, president of the group, summarized by symbolically cutting the ribbon – Hermès logo – from the Allan factory.
“We need to go to open a factory in France, it is a challenge that some bypass by relocations”, he insisted, while the Hermès leather goods is entirely “Made in France” “.
Employees of the new Hermès factory in Allenjoie (Doubs), April 5, 2018
Representing local elected officials, Charles Demouges, president of the Montbéliard agglomeration, welcomed “the aura brought by the Hermès house, leader and example for the employment of labor in the country of Montbéliard”, a historic Peugeot employment pool.
It is on an area of activity immersed in nature that the saddler-leather worker has installed his new workshop, a large wooden building of 5,800 m2 bathed in natural light to promote the work of craftsmen, who have views of wooded hills .
“The windows in the roofs, above the artisans, are oriented to the north, to get a light not too strong and especially the purest,” said Guillaume de Seynes, general manager upstream and group interests.
An employee cuts leather in the new Hermès factory in Allenjoie (Doubs), April 5, 2018
A hundred leatherworkers are already working on the site – half of them still in training – and on one model: the Kelly, one of Hermès’ two iconic bags, also the most technically difficult to manufacture. Eventually, the unit should make 250 leatherworkers work.
“Crafters are all starting to train on the Kelly, because when you know how to make the Kelly, you can do all the other bags of the house,” said Mr. Dumas AFP, recalling that each Hermes bag is manufactured tip in the end by the same leatherworker, who discreetly affixes on one of the side gussets his initials or a personal mark.
In 2017, Hermès’ flagship leather goods and leather goods business accounted for half of its total turnover of 5.5 billion euros.
The leatherworkers of the new factory of Allenjoie (Doubs) work on one model: the Kelly, one of the two emblematic bags of Hermès, also the most difficult technically to manufacture
Allenjoie becomes the third Hermès factory in the Montbéliard region, with Seloncourt, opened in 1996, and Héricourt, inaugurated in 2016.
This Franche-Comté division should employ by 2023 a total of 780 craftsmen-leatherworkers. The latter are notably trained locally in partnership with the Boudard School (in Béthoncourt) and the Lycée des Huisselets (in Montbéliard).
Hermès has just over 300 “exclusive” stores in the world. It employs more than 13,400 people, including 8,319 in France. Last year, more than 400 people were recruited in France.