Coutellia has played a major role in restoring the image of Thiers and its economic basin, which currently boasts 78 knife manufacturers for a total workforce of 852 people and 34 artisan cutlers. A genuine economic sector both in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region and internationally. Located in the Massif Central, at the hub of a network of major cities such as Lyon, Saint-Étienne or Clermont-Ferrand, Thiers boasts many small businesses, most of which have a workforce of around 12 employees.
Despite their strong local roots, for these VSEs/SMEs, the globalised economy is the order of the day. Following the end of the industrial era in France, Thiers took a positive turn. 95% of Thiers-based cutlers boast an international customer base.
Sales are no exception to the rule, with one in two professional knife manufacturers exporting to European Union countries. Next on the list comes, in equal parts (14% of exports), America (mainly to the United States and Canada) and Asia (mostly to China).
Puy-de-Dôme exports of cutlery, tools, hardware and miscellaneous metal goods amounted to 153.4 million euros (including 124.5 million (or 81%) from the Puy-de-Dôme).
The Puy-de-Dôme represents 2% of total French exports of these products.
Sales by the cutlery industry in the Thiers basin target both retailers and wholesalers. (Industrials: 31% – Retailers: 25% – Wholesalers: 20% – Private individuals: 12%). Naturally, the primary market for their production remains that of tableware products.
While the knife-makers’ skills are rooted in tradition, they are nonetheless dynamic, open to change, and always ready to renew their product lines. Above all, they drive innovation by filing patents.
Keen to advertise their skills and sell their products, nearly 2 out of 3 companies participate in trade fairs, most of which are held in France. Three-quarters of them as exhibitors.
Source: CCIR Auvergne – Department for Economic Monitoring and Studies