why Hermès opens two workshops in New Aquitaine

When Hermès, the giant of “French” luxury, advances its pawns in terms of opening sites or production facilities, in particular for its leather goods – and it has opened nine out of ten years in France – it has always been done with the greatest secrecy. The effect of the announcement is not really that house with an annual turnover of 9 billion euros (2021).

For its workshops, Hermès recruits and trains its own craftsmen.

Guillaume Bonnot / “Southwest”

260 jobs in Españac Island (16)

Thus, on Tuesday, March 15, Hermès presented many confirmations of discoveries, not projects. Thus, in 2025, on the island of Espanyac in Charente, not far from Angouleme, a factory for the production of leather goods will appear from the ground. He eventually mobilizes at least 260 craftsmen.

“This is great news that we had to bury for several months,” confirms Xavier Bonnefont, mayor of Angouleme and also president of the Greater Angouleme urban community. “We have selected several sites for Hermès that do not rely on the very nature of the land and the design. The company has been open to proposals for bare land from the very beginning, as well as industrial wastelands. Finally, it is on 3.5 hectares of bare land in the Bel-Air business park that 6,000 m² one-story workshops will be built so that the first bags can be produced within three years.

Choices that are not risky

“We competed with other sites,” says Xavier Bonnefon, “but we had several large assets. First of all, we had the opportunity to offer a land that easily meets the Hermès goals, namely the quality of the environment and the landscape, because we offer an unobstructed view of the city of Angouleme. But I think the most defining factor was our geographical proximity to other Hermès workshops in Montbront, Charente, Nontront, Dordogne and the Saint-Junin glove factory in Haute-Vienne. »

Indeed, this place is near Angouleme, which will be his 24thas well as a leather goods workshop (all located in France) is not at all risky and justified by the desire of Hermès to organize its production in the form of knots. The future factory in Isle d’Espagnac will join the leather goods center in the southwest, which includes the three sites mentioned above.

In total, 500 Hermès craftsmen work in the Gironde.

A strategy that pleases another city in the region, this time in the Gironde: Loupet, a small town in Antre-de-Mers (see elsewhere). Indeed, if it is this village with 834 souls that Hermès is targeting in what will become its 24as well as leather goods workshop, it is located near the Saint-Vincent-de-Paul workshop, called the Maroquinerie de Guyenne. A site that was opened in September 2021 and has already mobilized 260 craftsmen, a number that is expected to reach the Lupe site, which is scheduled to open in 2026. These two factories will actually make up the Girondin pole of Hermes. The eighth largest pillar, to be precise, which over time will gather at least 500 craftsmen.

Today, Hermès has 52 factories and production sites in France, as well as a network of more than 300 stores in 45 countries. The complex employs 11,000 of the 17,600 people that the French company mobilizes every day around the world. With these two new sites, the French group confirms its growth ambitions and continues to develop its production capacity.

Despite the pandemic, the group, founded in 1837 in Paris, achieved “its best year” in 2021 with a net profit of 2.44 billion euros and sales figures that the group only expected to achieve in 2024.

Amid the war between Russia and Ukraine and the economic retaliation imposed on the aggressor country, Hermès became the first luxury group to temporarily close its Russian stores. This will no doubt affect its future sales figures, but the current situation does not seem to call into question its production development strategy, which benefits the economy and employment in France as a whole and in the region in particular.

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