Hermes FACTS ans FIGURES for our knowlegde

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  1. Hi guys,

    I ordered the Annual Report of Hermes to learn more about the company. The report was published during the Annual Shareholder's Meeting on June 2005 ... the data reflected are for 2004. I'll order the newer publication once it is available.

    Here are some facts which might be interesting to you.

    Date founded: 1837 by Thierry Hermès. Until today, the company is managed mostly by the 5th and 6th generation of the Hermès family. The company is also traded in the French Stock Exchange

    Number of employees: 5,871. The average age is 41 for managerial and 37 for non-managerial. The average years of service is 8.6 years. Breakdown of employees by job category is 41% production, 41% sales, 18% support. Geographic breakdown of employees is 63% France, 11% Japan, 10% Europe (excluding France), 9% Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan), 7% Americas.

    Number of stores: 237 (133 of which are directly operated by Hermès)

    Company business sectors: 14 in all and that is leather, scarves, ties, men's and women's ready-to-wear, perfume, watches, diaries/agendas, hats, footwear, gloves, enamel, art of living, tableware, jewellery

    2004 sales: 1.331 billion Euros

    2004 sales by business sector: 40% bags and luggage, 21% clothings and accessories, 11% silk products, 7% watches, 5% perfumes, 3% tableware, 3% other products (textiles, John Lobb shoes, Gordon-Choisy tanneries), 10% other sectors (jewellery, diaries, small leather good, art of living)

    2004 sales by geographical area: 30% Japan, 19% France, 17% Europe (excluding France), 16% rest of Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan), 15% Americas, 3% other countries

    Production: Hermès controls 27 production sites, all in Europe. 25 are in France, 1 in Switzerland (watches), 1 in Great Britain (John Lobb shoes). Although I think in 2005-2006 the horn accessories are made in Vietnam.

    In 2004, Hermès also owned a 31.5% share of Leica Camera, 35% of Jean Paul Gaultier fashion house, and 39.5% of Les Tissages Perrin (weaving company).

    Hope that helps!
  2. Interesting..thanks
  3. Very nice information. Maybe when I finally get my long awaited bag I can add a fraction of a percent to the stats on the American sales figures! Hee hee
  4. Thanks! interesting to see where all of my money is going!:shame: :shame:
  5. Thanks LaVan!
  6. Very interesting...thanks LeVan. I didn't know they own a percentage of Leica cameras...I wonder why.:huh:
  7. Thanks for the information. That was very interesting.
  8. Great info LeVan, here's a few more interesting bits as well:biggrin:

    In 1837, Thierry Hermès began a family business less glamorously in the Madeleine quarter of Paris to produce harnesses and other leather equestrian goods.

    Gradually, he added boots, jewellery, home decor items, and silk scarves. Later, his son masterminded direct sales to the public, and the expansion into general leather accessories.

    In 1920, Thierry's grandson Émile went on to create the now-famous Hermès style, based on simplicity and purity of line. He added luggage into the range of Hermès leather goods collection. Its silk scarves were popular from the outset, providing the impetus to create its womenswear line, which now ranges from swimwear to coats.

    When the first Hermès store opened in its current Paris location in the 1930s, the famous silk Hermès scarf soon became a great success. It is inspired by the scarf, which Napoleon's soldiers wore. It became a masculine accessory for the newly liberated women of the Golden '20s. All of the Hermès products are inspired by horses or horse motifs. Scarves, for both men and women, are until today their most popular product.

    Women's ready-to-wear used to be designed by a team under the guide of Claude Brouet (a former chief-editor of the French fashion magazine Marie Claire) and five other designers. In May 1997, the highly renowned designer of Belgian origin Martin Margiela took over the women's wear design job, superceeded by Jean-Paul Gaultier, who continues to design for his own line. The current chairman of the company is Jean-Louis Dumas, the fifth generation member of the Hermes family.

    Apart from the silk scarves, Hermès has other best-selling items from its women's handbag range. I believe that every Hermès connoisseur knows what they are. Of course, the most coveted and hard to get Hermès Kelly and Birkin bags!

    On the top floor of its old headquarters at 24 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, is the Atelier de Sellerie, a small roomful of craftsmen still sit hammering, stitching and polishing beautiful saddles for the bums of the world's posh in exactly the same way as they have done here for more than a hundred years. The cheapest model will set you back about £1,900. On a bookshelf sit the leather-bound record books in which the details of every saddle Hermes has ever made here is recorded.

    This room can barely manage 400 saddles a year, a tiny fraction of the turnover of a company that sold more than $1bn worth of goods last year. But the ethic of almost over-meticulous craftsmanship learned in saddle-making spreads throughout the company. 'Don't forget,' says Kate Betts, 'Hermes is a Protestant family.'

    The main leatherworks was moved to a gigantic atelier in the Paris suburb of Pantin in 1992. Inside its sleek white walls, the true idiosyncrasy of the HermPs venture becomes apparent. Emile-Maurice HermPs - creator of the first HermPs handbag - may have liked modern designs and creations such as the zip fastener, but he loathed Henry Ford's Johnny-come-lately ideas for mass production. Part of the HermPs cachet is that each product is still individually handmade.

    In the huge workrooms here, 250 skilled workers - men and women - sit carefully at desks surrounded by the normal clutter of modernity - minidisc players and photographs of their kids. But their tools are the same as have been used for hundreds of years. Between their knees, they clutch the giant wooden pince-B-coudre which grip the bags as they work on them with awls and needles, patiently stitching and then polishing the seams with large lumps of beeswax. For all the frippery that surrounds them, the bags are famously robust. They are hand-made using saddle-stitch - two needles passing across the seam in opposite directions.

    Each worker guards his or her own tools carefully. Retiring craftsmen sometimes chose a favoured pupil to pass their set on to. It takes about five years to become skilled enough to be let loose on your own Birkin bag. Employees typically have been trained for three years before arriving here, and will usually work with a more experienced craftsman for another two.

    A single bag will take about 18 hours to complete, from cutting to finishing. Each carftsman works on a single handbag themselves. Printed discretely on each bag in gold ink is a code which identifies the worker who made it, the year it was made and the particular atelier it was made in. That's part of the cachet. This particular workshop, here in Pantin, is denoted by the letter X.

    Workers bend over their workbenches in quiet concentration, interrupted by the occasional banging of an awl. In the 21st century, these ranks of artisans, busily practising skills that nearly every other modern industry has abandoned, make an incredible sight. This is part of the mystique you buy into with a Birkin. Whatever Birkin devotees say, you could buy something just as practical in nylon, but with an Hermes bag you're buying a distinctly un-21st-century ideal of permanence. 'It could be done with a machine,' says Bertrand, 'but if it was, it would not be Hermes any more.'

    In the leather store a few streets away, some of the finest hide in the world waits to be cut. Fork-lift electric trucks loaded with piles of skin labelled 'Veau evercalf' and 'Box noisette' drift past silently. 'Oh happy cows,' murmurs one visitor, 'to give your life for a Birkin.'

    Here, laid out on acres of huge, wide shelves are alligator skins from Florida, buffalo hides from Pakistan, crocodile skins from Australia, goats from India, sharks from Thailand and lizards from Malaysia. Here oxen, goats, deer and calves have all surrendered their skins. All the hides are painstakingly tanned and dyed every colour, pattern and texture imaginable.

    Hermes has cornered world supplies for some of the finest leathers on earth. If Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field, HermPs found a way of turning them into stylish accessories. 'You wouldn't want to bring Stella McCartney in here,' mutters a delightfully indiscreet PR.

    Around 80 coupeurs work cutting the skins. Only the best parts are chosen. Neck areas and flanks where the grain is not perfect are chucked in the bin. It takes two ostriches to make a single ostrich-skin Birkin. Only the best back-skin is used for the crocodile bag. Hermes uses 3 types of crocodile skins: Porosus, Niloticus and Alligator. All species of alligators, caimans, crocoiles and gharial together are known as crocodilians, sometimes shortened to crocs but refers to all the species of a group. The slightest blemish is tutted over and rejected.

  9. Sorry this post has to be in 2 parts as it has too many characters

    The care lavished on each bag is remarkable. Adjusting supply to meet demand is not an easy option. Hermes is lobbying the French government vigorously to try to persuade it to loosen the employment laws that prevent their workers from working more than a 35-hour week. They have a powerful weapon: last week Bertrand hosted a tour for a large group of politicians' wives who came to coo and gape at the fabulous Hermes bags.

    In 1922, the wife of Emile-Maurice HermPs made a similar complaint to the one Jane Birkin would utter 60 years later: she couldn't find a decent bag anywhere. Emile-Maurice created the Bolide - the 'racing car' - a sleek, modernist design incorporating the newfangled zip fastener, a device which Emile-Maurice had admired so much on a visit to New York that he had bought the patent rights to it. So the Hermes handbag was born.

    Unlike Gucci and so many other fashion houses, Hermes has remained a family-owned company. Only 20 per cent of shares are traded on the Paris Bourse. Jean-Louis supervises every each new product. 'He decides very quickly - "Ce sortira, Ce sortira pas,"' Bertrand de Courcy of Herms explains. He's worked for the company for 37 years. Also, unlike Gucci, Hermes still makes saddles.

    The Birkin bag was created in 1984 after Hermes president Jean-Louis Dumas met the actress on a plane. Jane Birkin was struggling with the overhead locker, complaining that no one made a handbag that suited her needs. Dumas invited her to the Faubourg workshops where the Birkin bag was first sketched out. For such a cult item, it's surprisingly practical: easy to get into and deceptively large. As one owner proudly announced, 'Career, cosmetic and gynaecological needs are all served by a single bag.'

    For years, Hermes's bestselling bag has been the Kelly - so called after Grace Kelly clutched one to her belly in 1956 to disguise the telltale bulge of her pregnancy from a Life magazine paparazzo.

    When a bag needs repair, it will be sent back to its original craftsman. Although a bag is completed by one craftsman, we often wonder why it takes so long for a bag to be made. Most of the craftsmen do not have a habit of completing a bag in one day. Instead, Hermès craftsmen usually make parts of the bag they choose to make and enjoy making. Let's say if he makes a Kelly's handle today, he will probably make Birkin's fittings tomorrow. Hooks, latches and other hardware is still finished by hand in solid brass, with 18kt gold plating or in palladium. Hermès concentrates on smaller parts of goods rather than on larger parts in order to create an impressive finished products.

  10. Thanks so much for this!
  11. Thanks for the information.

    Has anyone seen the sketch of the Birkin?
  12. Wow, surprising that more people want the Kelly than the Birkin!
  13. flossyfigaro-

    Wow. Thanks for posting all that!
  14. great info! thanks!
  15. nice!!!