With a carefully orchestrated launch event, LVMH opened two new workshops in Azé and Vendome, the latter occupying an 11th-century abbey that was renovated at a cost of about 20 million euros, according to Bloomberg.
By keeping production in its home country LVMH bypasses the supply chains issues that continue to plague luxury's manufacturing sector.
Items such as a handbags, belts and other leather goods can be made locally in France, instead of Italy where many of its leather items are made.
At the opening, which was attended by LVMH chairman Bernard Arnault, the French Finance Minister and other prestigious media, Mr Arnault said there is an “auspicious” economic environment in France, which is the most attractive in Europe for foreign investments. “Our craftswomen often manufacture products that have wait lists,” reported Bloomberg.
The Azé workshop is a 6,500 m² atelier while the Vendome abbey houses 3,300 m² of its leatherworkers specializing in the manufacture of luxury bags. The two sites currently employ 150 people.
According to a press release, nearly 350 operations have to be carried out to manufacture a Vuitton bag. These techniques and know-how must be mastered by new employees, said Michael Burke, CEO of Louis Vuitton. For its recruitment, candidates went through a phase of simulation tests, during which their dexterity, their visual acuity and their ability to concentrate were put to the test. Successful applicants are then trained internally for several months, the time to acquire all the skills. It takes between twelve and eighteen months to be independent.
Louis Vuitton to open two further workshops in 2022
After a record year in 2021 with a turnover of 64 billion euros, the Vuitton brand will open two further workshops in France in the coming months. One, located in Beaulieu-sur-Layon in Maine-et-Loire, will be added to the existing one. The other is located near Valence, in the Drôme. “By 2024, Louis Vuitton will create 1,000 additional jobs,” announced Valérie Dubois, Louis Vuitton leather goods manufacturing director for France.
“The strength of our group is to be part of the long term. You don't become a leather goods designer in a day, said Bernard Arnault, France's first fortune and head of an empire of 75 brands. We have managed to get through this economic crisis thanks to our craft activities and our quality products. This success is a mixture of passion, creation, tradition and loyalty of our customers.”