Photographer: MEHDI FEDOUACH/AFP/Getty Images

Hermes to Expand Leather-Goods Output in France, Add 500 Jobs

  • New sites aim to increase production, trim waiting lists
  • Employment gains boost Macron as he pushes economic agenda

Hermes International SCA said it will open two new leather-goods production sites over the coming two years in France to meet surging demand for products that include the $10,000 Birkin handbag.

One facility will be located near Bordeaux and the other will be in the Paris region, Hermes said Monday. Each will employ about 250 workers.

Increasing production is a key aim for Paris-based Hermes as it seeks to reduce waiting lists for its signature handbags. After being largely insulated from a slowdown in luxury consumption in 2015 and 2016, the company is trying to respond to a rebound in demand for high-end goods by training leather workers and adding new sites. The company already expanded its production capabilities earlier this year in France.

The latest moves come as President Emmanuel Macron is pushing through economic reforms and slashing corporate taxes. The changes have helped lift French business confidence to its highest in almost a decade, while unemployment has dropped by about 1 percentage point since the beginning of 2015, to about 9.5 percent.

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