Hermes has opened a manufacturing facility in the town of Louviers in France's Normandy to meet the rising demand for its iconic Kelly and Constance handbags.
About 140 people are working at the leather-goods manufacturing facility, spread over 6,200 sq.m to produce bags, saddles and small leather goods, states a Bloomberg report. The luxury brand has 21 leather manufacturing plants across France. The report adds that the facility is making Kelly bags, worth $8,400, in 25cm size and will eventually churn out another model called Constance mini. One Kelly bag takes between 14-20 hours to be made and is produced by a single leather-worker.
The brand plans to grow its volumes of leather goods by about 7% a year, adding about one leather plant a year, executive chair Axel Dumas told reporters, states the Bloomberg report. The luxury-goods company’s production increase is limited by the need for savoir-faire.
“Training takes time,” Dumas said. “We take our best artisans, and they become trainers so they’re no longer in production.” That’s why one opening a year is “optimal not to disrupt what we do while still growing.”
About a quarter of the company’s almost 20,000 workers globally are leather-goods artisans, adds the report.
Meanwhile, another Bloomberg report, published earlier last week, reported that Hermes International soared past €200 billion ($218 billion) in market value for the first time ever this week, surpassing Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG. "The company is now the eighth-most valuable name across the pan-European Stoxx 600 index. It is second in the luxury space only to France’s LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE, which reigns supreme with a €420 billion price tag, lifting the fortune of its controlling shareholder Bernard Arnault past $200 billion this week.