PARIS — Delvaux is restructuring operations and could shed 26 jobs at its Belgian headquarters, according to a statement issued by the historic handbag maker.
The move is part of a plan to streamline operations in a bid to improve agility, the house said. “In order to meet current demands of the market and offer clients the high-end service they seek, the Delvaux Maison must imperatively improve agility,” it said, citing the need to improve logistics.
Delvaux plans to shift quality control and distribution operations to production sites in France. The headquarters, meanwhile, will remain in Belgium, where administrative and creative activities will remain, including producing prototypes and exceptional or made-to-measure products, according to the plans. The leather goods house has two production sites in France, the Avoudrey site in the Doubs region and Bourg-Argental site in the Loire region in Eastern France.
The company described a “costly and complicated” system whereby raw materials were inspected at the headquarters before being sent to France for production. The Belgian headquarters counts 155 employees, out of 624 worldwide.
“The restructuring plan sought by Delvaux is necessary to respond to logistical and financial needs today and to prepare challenges of tomorrow in a disrupted world economy,” said the company.
Before the coronavirus crisis walloped consumer markets around the world, Delvaux had undergone changes. The house reinstalled Marco Probst as chief executive officer in December 2019, replacing luxury goods veteran Jean-Marc Loubier, who stepped down. In his parting message, Loubier noted the house faced serious challenges when First Heritage Brands took control of it in 2011.
Loubier worked to raise the international profile of the prestigious Belgian label, known for a long-standing relation with the Belgian royal court as an official supplier since 1883, by building a store network abroad and investing in workshops in France and Belgium.
The brand has pushed into Asian markets, in China, South Korea and Japan, and opened flagships on New York’s Fifth Avenue, Bond Street in London and in the Palazzo Reina in Milan, as well as a temporary location on the Rue Saint Honoré in Paris.