March 23, 2019
A la française
The Pierre Lannier brand, founded in 1977, capitalises on French-style manufacture and elegance. Pierre Burgun, CEO since 2004, talks about its development prospects for 2019.
How was 2018 for your company?
Pierre Burgun: The beginning of the year was very difficult. However, the end was quite good despite the Yellow Vest protests in France, which had a major impact on business in the city centres.
How do you explain these results for your brand?
We have taken a number of marketing initiatives which have allowed us to stabilise our sales revenue to 16 million euros as of 2017. This year started very well, with a 15 percent increase in sales, and we look forward to seeing if this year’s Baselworld is successful in bringing back international retailers.
And you are especially capitalising on the ‘Made in France’ label?
We still have our two manufacturing sites, in Ernolsheim-Lès-Saverne in the east of France and in Madagascar. In 2018, more than 55 percent of our watches were made in France and we developed many collections with the ‘Made in France’ label, such as the Eolia, Cristal and Symphony models, which have been a real commercial success.
And you are now starting to manufacture jewellery?
Yes, we started with the Eolia model, launched in March 2018, which is our biggest commercial success: we sold 50,000 in just one year! At Baselworld, we are presenting 10 jewellery models in steel, linked to the watch, picking up on the floral motifs and offered in a box. We will undoubtedly be developing other jewellery models between now and the end of the year.
Could you tell us more about the men’s watches?
Our men’s watches have met with resounding success as they represent 45 percent of our sales revenue. The automatic skeleton watches in particular, completely redesigned in 2018, are very competitive. This year, we have opted for a square design simply called Lecaré, with models for men and women.
What are your current export development plans?
We increased our exports by 9 percent in 2018. Exports are now 25 percent of our turnover, but we want to double that number in four years’ time. We achieved great success in China, with an 80 percent increase thanks to online sales with a partner, followed by Japan and Russia.