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Impact of the economic and financial crisis on the luxury sector

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par Aline Serret
Université Jean Moulin Lyon III - Master 1 LEA commerce international 2011

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Aline Serret Année universitaire 2010/2011

M1 LEA Commerce International



Faculté des Langues

Professeur suiveur : M. Sherratt Université Jean Moulin Lyon 3


Acknowledgements 1

Presentation of the company 2

Presentation of the internship 4

Impact of the economic and financial crisis on the luxury sector 7

Introduction 7

I. Luxury sector hit hard by the crisis 9

1. Most serious crisis in the sector for decades 9

2. In the grip of the crisis: the example of Chanel 10

3. Different economic consequences according to locations 11

II. Relative impact on well-established luxury goods companies 13

1. Luxury armed against the crisis 13

2. Consumers need for luxury 14

III. How did luxury goods companies respond to the crisis? 16

1. Adapting to the demand 16

2. New marketing strategies to revise market positioning 17

3. Restructuring programmes to deal with the crisis 18

Conclusion 20

Appendix 21

Internship appraisal («Attestation de stage») 25


First of all, I take this opportunity to gratefully acknowledge M. Jean-Claude Piveteau, Autajon Group's HR manager, who accepted my application for this internship and enabled me to integrate such a dynamic and worldwide company as Autajon Group.

I wish to record my thanks to Mrs. Alice Hanot, HR development manager, and M. Nicolas Ricaud, international division HR manager, who have been my tutors during my whole internship and who were always present for me when I was burdened with doubts and uncertainties.

Julie Drevet and Benjamin Gerenthon, intern and junior webmaster respectively, who I worked with in my different missions, have been very friendly to me from the very beginning and helped me integrate into the company.

My University, the Université Jean Moulin Lyon 3, enabled me to benefit from a rewarding professional experience during my education which I know is a significant asset nowadays.

Finally, I wish to thank my English teacher, M. Robert Sherratt, for accepting to be my `professeur suiveur' and correcting my report.

Aline Serret

Presentation of the company


Autajon is an international-scale group with more than 3,000 employees. Its experience and its innovation capacity, its reputation and the technical expertise of its employees are world leader in its industry: the manufacture of folding cases and labels.

Little history

1964. Establishment of the company: Alain Autajon starts his activity manufacturing folding cases for the pharmaceutical industry in Montélimar (Drôme, France).

1978. Market and product diversification: the company extends its activity to the perfumery and cosmetics markets. Prestigious brands trust the firm since then. The experience and know-how acquired lead the company to diversify its production towards luxury boxes.

1995. First external growth in France: the acquisition of a business complements Autajon's activity by the production of POS advertising and card packaging for automobiles, small equipment, textile and confectionery. Autajon becomes a Group.

2001. International expansion: the second acquisition of Autajon Group is a German specialised company in the manufacture of boxes for perfumes and cosmetics, pharmacy and confectionery. Autajon Group's development policy is extended from 2004 to 2009 through the acquisitions of various companies across the world.

- Appendix 1: Autajon Group site locations

2002. Wine labels diversification: the development of Autajon Group continues with the purchase of a company making wine labels. It is a new activity for Autajon but remaining in its core business, printing.

- Appendix 2: Autajon Group sites by sector

2011. Group's international strengthening: Autajon Group has expanded its presence in Europe and the United States. It has more than 3,000 employees, distributed on 23 sites, and its turnover exceeds 400 million Euros. Thus, the Group strengthens its leading position in the manufacturing of folding cases and labels (wine-growing and industrial sectors).

- Appendix 3: Evolution of Autajon Group's turnover

- Appendix 4: Turnover distribution by market segment

Each site of Autajon Group belongs to one of these 3 divisions: Packaging, Wines & Spirits labels, Industrial Labels.

Autajon Group has experienced a dynamic and continuous growth from the very beginning. This success comes from the commitment of its employees that combine a passion for their craft and their skills with the ambitions of the Group.

Its principles (performance and innovation, teamwork, integrity and corporate social responsibility) not only guide the actions of each but they also guide the Group's social policy.

Furthermore, diversity and mobility have become gradually integrated as axes of HR development, in connection with the presence of the Group in Europe and the United States. The Group's expansion creates more opportunities for work and offers employees the possibility to follow a rewarding career path.

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Bitcoin is a swarm of cyber hornets serving the goddess of wisdom, feeding on the fire of truth, exponentially growing ever smarter, faster, and stronger behind a wall of encrypted energy

"Il y a des temps ou l'on doit dispenser son mépris qu'avec économie à cause du grand nombre de nécessiteux"   Chateaubriand