Based in Grigny (20 km from Paris, France) since its creation in 1961, the family business was originally a manufacturer of leather or imitation leather briefcases for schoolchildren but shifted to the luxury markets during 1980 due to the Chinese competition in its initial business. The strategic move proved beneficial as it allowed Norline to survive the massive imports of Asian made products. Most of the company’s production now includes rigid customized briefcases produced in very small series featuring an average of 20 to 40 units, but orders of 1 to 5 units are not uncommon. Today, a total of 1,000 to 2,000 pieces comes out of the workshop each month.
"Our expertise lies in our ability to design and manufacture high-end customized products in very small series, in a very short time and at reasonable prices," says Arnaud Gaget, President of Norline Atelier.
Hand made products
To address the demand of customers from the luxury industry, Norline has gradually integrated its subcontractors. Today the company employs 22 people, mainly in production since most of the process is manual. Given the required quality and the small series, the workforce represents approximately 50% of production costs. From graphics to sheathing through the wood structures, everything is done in-house.
"Responsiveness is one of our greatest strengths. Our multidisciplinary structure provides complete satisfaction in terms of production lead times, and our know-how is recognized by our customers as a guarantee regarding the quality of their products," says Olivier Grandière, who joined Norline in November 2014 as General Manager.
With over 250 customers, mainly in the perfumery and cosmetics business (70%-75% of the turnover), Norline Atelier’s sales reached 2.5 million euros in 2014, 19% of which with foreign customers. Capitalising on its good reputation, the company now wants to strengthen its position internationally and to become one of the European leaders in this market where the demand does not weaken. "All the brands are staging their products and betting on premium merchandising," says Arnaud Gaget.
Eager to find the best quality combined with short series, niche fragrance brands (Le Galion, Dyptique, Jo Malone...) are an important growth driver for the company that participated in the Esxence tradeshow held last month in Milan. However, Norline also wants to open up new markets beyond the cosmetic and perfumery sectors. Spirits already accounts for 15% of orders and interesting opportunities are emerging the eyewear, jewellery and fashion sectors.
The company therefore made new investments to increase its production capacity. Already equipped with two UV LED printing machines, Norline also invested in a new laser cutting machine in March 2015. The company also strengthened its teams, especially in the production area. Eventually, Norline Atelier targets a turnover of 3 million euros in 2015 and 4 million euros within three years, including 25% abroad, mainly in Europe.