PARIS — Hermès International said it has opened its new saddlery and leather goods workshop, the Manufacture de l’Allan, near the Swiss border in France, as the luxury house forges ahead with plans to bolster production.
The opening comes the same week that the company launched the European version of its new web site, stocked with films and articles, as the brand increasingly embraces e-commerce. The new site has been in operation in the U.S. since last fall.
While Hermès is famous for its waiting lists for pricey handbags, analysts noted inventory shortages may have contributed to a 0.4 percent sales decline at the company over the last quarter of 2017.
The new workshop, which stretches over around 62,000 square feet, will eventually employ 260 craftsmen, completing Hermès’ trio of workshops in the Franche-Comté region. The other two are the Manufacture of Seloncourt, set up in 1996, and the Manufacture of Héricourt, opened in 2016. Within the next five years, the three sites will employ 780 craftsmen, according to the company’s estimates.
With solar panels and a system to recover rainwater, the new workshop also has apple, plum and cherry trees.
“The inauguration of the Manufacture de l’Allan shows our commitment to artisan production and to creating employment in France,” said Hermès chief executive officer Axel Dumas, in a statement. The company now has 16 saddlery and leather goods workshops in France, with plans for two new sites scheduled for 2020.
In total, Hermès, which also sells high-end tableware and silk scarves, has 52 production sites. Forty-one of them are located in France.