Bought in 2018, the 70-year-old lighting manufacturer in Contes has pivoted to made in France. A radiant strategy for ALUMINOR, which has projects full of drawers.
The company, founded in 1950 in Contes, specializes in the design, manufacture and marketing of interior lighting. The leader at the time, André Lavigne, was responsible for the creation of several desk lamps with a number of patents to his credit, including one concerning an articulation hinge, which is still in use. Considered as one of the last interior lighting manufacturers in France, ALUMINOR experienced a prosperous period, employing up to 80 employees. When the founder died in the 1980s, the company was taken over by his children who changed strategy, favoring imported products and abandoning the production tool. Society is losing its luster.
In 2018 in Lyon, Richard Barbett and Vincent Overney are looking to breathe new life into their professional lives. Direction South-East and the acquisition of ALUMINOR, then for sale.
“A challenge certainly, but the company pleased us. We felt that we could dust it off, recapitalize on know-how. »
The two partners thus find themselves in Contes, surrounded by a team of ten people, passionate about the profession.
"Right away, we wanted to get the machines running again at full speed and create our own collections," explains Richard Barbett, CEO of La Contoise. “Made in France” is an undeniable added value. Especially nowadays when many of us want to give meaning to our purchases. »
Obviously, there is no question of cutting corners on quality. Worked metal, real wood, robust and efficient lighting and meticulous finishing, for the hundred or so products in the ALUMINOR catalogue. A design office and several positions are created. 18 employees today.
Communication and CSR policy (corporate social responsibility), Florence Barbett, former executive of ADEME (environment agency). She also felt challenged by the project and the experience helped, ideas flow. "CSR is becoming a major issue, it is at the heart of our strategy and embodies the values dear to the ALUMINOR team", she explains.
Before the takeover, 10% of turnover was achieved with products made in France, today, ALUMINOR achieves more than 30% of its turnover with luminaires manufactured in its workshops and it's not over . A strong desire to move towards eco-design emerges. A huge work of analysis of the life cycles of two luminaires has started, to measure the overall impact on the environment. “We are now studying avenues for improvement and changes to be made to optimize our environmental performance. We hope to present our first completely eco-designed luminaire at the Maison & Objets fair in Paris in September.”
The company's customer base has also grown. In addition to office equipment distributors (Lyreco, Bruneau, etc.) and interior decoration and lighting stores (Galeries Lafayette, Keria and Laurie, etc.), there are now also interior designers, decorators, hoteliers and designers. . “It's a lever for growth that we are in a position to develop strongly. Our strength in this market segment is our ability to make tailor-made products and our great responsiveness. »
In three years, ALUMINOR shines again, with an e-commerce site set up during confinement. “We have just bought the premises, which we have rented so far, and plan to renovate them. An investment of €2 million “to create an exemplary building in terms of environmental impact and modernize our production tool to further increase the proportion of lights manufactured in France”. Start of work planned for the spring, delivery at the end of 2022. A coworking space should be set up “to accommodate start-ups or designers with whom we could collaborate”. Strengthened by all these commitments and the motivation of the teams, ALUMINOR is ready to shine.