Street StyleStreet Style, Day 8, Autum Winter 2017, Paris Fashion Week, France - 07 Mar 2017

PARIS — Hermès International is expanding production of its French-made leather goods with plans to build a new workshop in Normandy that will employ 250 workers.

The expansion program comes as global demand for high-end accessories shows signs of holding firm despite trade tensions between the U.S. and China, with strong leather goods sales from LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton through the end of last year offering the latest example.

The new site, which will be based in Louviers, will follow the opening of another site in the region, the Val-de-Reuil workshop that opened in 2017, according to a statement from the company.

Hermès, which reports 2018 sales on Feb. 8, has been gradually increasing its production capacity of leather goods, including a facility near Bordeaux.

Analysts from RBC have pegged growth of the category for Hermès at around 9 to 10 percent a year through 2020. RBC has welcomed the company’s efforts to diversify its offer of leather handbags and reduce its reliance on Birkin and Kelly bags. 

Sales at the leather goods and saddlery division at Hermès grew 9 percent in the first nine months of last year, with the company citing both revisited classics as well as new models, such as the 24/24 and Lindy bags, as contributing to the performance.

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