Louis Vuitton expands French manufacturing to meet handbag demand
Florence, France (Reuters)-
Louis Vuitton is LVMH, a French luxury group (LVMH. PA)
The brand said on Tuesday that the company is expanding its production of leather goods and handbags and plans to have at least two new workshops this year and next.
The label, known for its suitcase, will hire 500 people for two sites in western France, bringing its leather goods specialist staff to around 4,000 to meet growing demand.
One site will open in July and the other will open in early 2019.
Emmanuel Mathieu, industry director at Vuitton, said a third new opening will be held later next year.
LVMH, the parent company that also owns brands such as Givenchy and Christian Dior, reported record profits and sales in 2017, thanks to a rebound in Asian consumer demand for luxury goods.
Fashion brands earn some of the highest profits from leather goods such as handbags and wallets.
Vuitton accounts for the majority of its domestic market, with competitors Hermes (HRMS. PA)
The company deals with its \"Made in France\" appeal and will also open several new workshops by 2020.
Vuitton will have 16 French leather workshops by the beginning of 2019, the company said.
Its last opening was in 2017 and has been in a state of calm since 2011, although at the same time it has increased the staff of the site.
After nearly 20 years of rapid unemployment, France\'s manufacturing industry has recently seen a new round of job creation.
National Statistics this month show that the industrial sector saw its first net job creation since 2001 in the last three months of 2017.
Louis Vuitton, which owns all of its stores, is also looking to shorten its lead time to help it respond to sales trends, executives said.
It aims to deliver the handbag within one week after the internal order comes in, lower than the current two weeks.
\"When we launch a new product, we can adapt to the demand very quickly,\" said Mathieu, an existing factory near St. Te village, Vuitton.
Florence in western France
Models including Vuitton Twist bags or mini Palm Springs backpacks are hand-assembled on site by about 250 workers trained in professional sewing machines.
However, Vuitton does have several factories elsewhere, including two in California, to meet the needs of the United States. S.
New markets and plans in Texas.
It also has four workshops in the Spanish district of Catalunya, and production facilities in Portugal and Romania to produce parts such as luggage handles.
LVMH did not release revenue from its brand, but analysts estimate that Vuitton\'s sales reached at least 8 billion euros last year.