More than a century after its inception, in 1890, in Savoy, the Opinel brand has just opened a new small shop in Annecy, where shoppers flock to it, on this Saturday in early September. Knives with blades engraved with the Crowned Hand – in particular to symbolize the former Duchy of Savoy – are sold like a hot cake.
“Our brand has been growing strongly for fifteen years and, until now, we have been able to follow it, says Luc Simon, the company’s deputy general manager. But for two years there has been a great acceleration, supported in particular by the craze for hiking or table knives. “
The demand is such that in Chambéry, where the production plant is located, or in Annecy, some shops are empty. As for the brand’s website, it shows a lot of unavailable items. “We tick all the boxes of the main consumption trends, justifies Françoise Detroyat, the marketing director. These are products made in France and are durable, sturdy. “
Self “The French market continues to develop well today”, the brand, which aims for 33 million euros in turnover in 2022, is aiming abroad. Already distributed in the United States and Germany, the Opinel brand wants to expand in the rest of Europe, but also in Asia. However, it is out of the question to think of multiplying the places of production. The company is there “no interest”, consider Françoise Detroyat.
“Our priority is sustainability rather than absolute growth”Luc Simon abounds. “The Opinel family wants to continue producing everything in Chambéry”, Add Mmyself Detroyat, ever since the Opinel knife became “An ambassador of Savoy in the world”. “Above all because we are extremely efficient thanks to industrial mechanization and automation”, says the marketing director.
In Chambéry, new machines are installed in the factory to meet demand. And the management is looking for the company to become “more attractive as a recruiter”. Wage increases and the possibility of teleworking are already planned. In fifteen years the company, which now has 160 employees, has doubled its workforce.