Rudolf Wurm, Commercial Director, Heinz Glass

In 1999, the German glassmaker creates its French subsidiary.Given the ambitious goals the Group had set at the time to become one of the ‘major’ suppliers in the upscale perfumery and cosmetic market,” underlines Yann Lefrancq, CEO for France, “we can say that we really started from square one in terms of image with the prestigious clients in the French market.” Zanzibar, a Cologne by Thierry Mugler, Nina Ricci’s make-up line, then Zegna from Yves Saint Laurent Parfums, were be the first references to contribute precisely to the change of this image.

Because for a large number of players in the industry,” admits Rudolph Wurm, “it was mainly a question of image. When people decide you are a mass market glassmaker, it is very difficult to change even if in the meantime, your quality of glass and of finish have come close to the production of the greatest names!

Figures speak for themselves!

Month after month, year after year, the French sales team with the support of all the factory technicians will tackle this often unrewarding task consisting in getting down to work again, throwing to the bin hundreds of bottles, recalculating angles, modify a mould, repositioning a silk screen, restarting over and over again to eventually come up with "THE" bottle or "THE" perfect jar in terms of distribution and glass purity, of sophisticated finishes with no burr. “It’s true that everyone suffered,” remembers Yann Lefrancq, “but at the end of the road we were eventually rewarded.

Yann Lefrancq, CEO Heinz Glas France

And figures speak for themselves. The turnover doubled between 1999 and 2005 and doubled again between 2005 and today. The "Big Players" in the market no longer hesitate to call in the German glassmaker. People start to understand that something is happening in this small German town of Kleintettau, nestled deep in a remote part of Germany, in this factory which still surrounds the home of Carl-August Heinz in person. A Group where tens of millions of euros have been invested each year, in a new furnace, a new always more efficient IS machine or in a state of the art decoration workshop.

That’s the advantage of being part of a very reactive family owned Group,” explains Rudolf Wurm, “because almost all of the profits are reinvested into the production tool with inevitably, a long-term vision.

The major French brands also understand that the managers at Heinz Glas have a "global" industrial strategy and that the setting up of plants that will follow one another in Poland, China and Peru are all brand new units with performances identical to the historical industrial sites in Germany.

2008: shifting into higher gear

Quality is at hand and on due time too ... “It’s in the course of the last five years,” explains Yann Lefrancq, “that we really shifted into higher gear in France.The German glassmaker is more systematically contacted to give his advice on major launches.

Ricci Ricci, 50ml

Previously working for Coty, the arrival of Nicolas Lejeune in the French team of Heinz Glas, then that of Laurent Destanque from L’Oréal helped reinforce the credibility and the overall level of the German glassmaker vis-à-vis major brands. Participations to new product launches are more and more frequent … In 2006 it’s the flacon "Glow After Dark" by Jennifer Lopez, a metalized and "jewelled" bottle. The same year, it’s "Fleur du Mâle" from Jean-Paul Gaultier, a high perfumery opal bottle. In 2007, it’s "Black X S for her" a pad-printed flacon with a lacquer gradation. In 2008, it’s John Galliano. In 2009, it’s "Ricci Ricci", a bottle with a lacquer gradation. The same year are also launched "Opium" by Yves Saint Laurent Parfums, a gold pad-printed flacon with a lacquer gradation and "So Elixir" from Yves Rocher.

2008 has been undoubtedly one of our greatest years, in recent times,” admits Rudolf Wurm. “As for 2009, and against all odds, the year will have turned out being rather less harsh than expected for Heinz Glas, thanks both to the sacrifices made by all our team members but also thanks to the confidence our customers showed us during this period.” This strong will of always wanting to seize “all the best opportunities” and to not hesitate to take up the relevant challenges in terms of glass technique and regarding the different decoration techniques will have eventually “paid off”.