Arc International

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This article is about the privately held French housewares company. For the publicly traded UK processor company of the same name, see ARC International.
Arc International Logo.gif

Arc International is a French manufacturer and distributor of household goods. The company was established in Arques, Pas-de-Calais, where it is still headquartered, as a glass-making firm under the name Verrerie des Sept Ecluses in 1825. In 1892 the name was changed to Verrerie Cristallerie d'Arques, and after a series of acquisitions in the 1990s the group was renamed in 2000 to the current name. It is the leading manufacturer of crystal and glassware in the world.[1] It is privately held and has been owned by members of the Durand family since 1916.[1] Arc International currently licenses the Pyrex brand of cookware for sale in the European Union. Competitors include Lenox Group, World Kitchen and Waterford Wedgwood.

The company reported 16,500 employees and gross sales of €1.4 billion in 2006, reinvesting 3% of its turnover into research and development.[2]



10-sided, thick-walled Luminarc working glasses, long a workhorse of French kitchens

Arc International was established in 1825 in the village of Arques in northern France by Alexander des Lyons de Noircarm, who began production by manufacturing glass storage containers known as "dame-jeanne" (demijohns in English), which were popular at that time. In subsequent years, the company diversified into consumer cooking and dining glassware. By the 1960s, the company had mastered the process of manufacturing stemware and other finer glassware products. One of Arc's signature products is the thick-walled ten-sided "working glasses" that were a workhorse in French kitchens after their introduction in 1978.[3]

From the 1897 onwards, the company was dominated by the Durand family, who eventually purchased the firm entirely in 1926. To this day, the family continues to be the sole proprietors. The firm adopted a number of practices that positioned it to become one of Europe's leading mass production glassmakers. Examples include the usage of tank furnaces (1933), the construction of modern glass presses (1947), the use of automatic blowing machines (1950), the usage of industrial tempering (1963) and the automation of lead crystal production (1968).


Brands under the Arc group include its own Luminarc (launched in 1948), Arcoroc (launched in 1963 for use in restaurant industry), Cristal d'Arques (launched in Europe in 1968), Longchamps (launched in the US in 1968), Salviati (acquired in Italy in 1999), Pyrex (under license in Europe from World Kitchen since 2005) and the fine crystal brand J. G. Durand.

Mikasa Inc.(originally purchased by Arc from founder George Aratani in 2000)[4] was sold by the firm to Lifetime Brands in 2008 for an undisclosed amount.[5]

Arcopal France[edit]

Arcopal France bakeware

The Arcopal France brand was introduced in 1958. This fully tempered glassware is high-strength and durable, break and chip resistant. Although very thin, Arcopal glass is five times stronger than china.[6] Arcopal tableware was famous for its translucent opal borosilicate glass. In 1986 Arcopal was replaced by Arcuisine.[7] The Arcopal France tableware is microwave and dishwasher safe. Arcopal bakeware is oven, microwave, and dishwasher safe.


Arc-manufactured 16oz glasses used by McDonald's in promotion of the 2010 release of the movie Shrek Forever After were recalled by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission on June 4, 2010. The recall encompassed about 12 million glasses distributed to all McDonald's restaurants in the USA. The recall specified that due to concerns over cadmium levels in paint pigments, all the affected promotional glassware was subject to the recall.[8]

Arc International Americas (the subsidiary of Arc that manufactured the glassware) asserted in a statement that the glassware " ... meet the highest standards of quality and safety." McDonald's in their own press release stated that the glassware was tested by a third party laboratory, and that the glassware was " ... determined to be in compliance with all applicable federal and state requirements.[9]

Key competitors[10][edit]

  • Bormioli Rocco (Italy), 554 million euros revenue in 2011 and over 2500 employees.
  • Libbey (USA), 540 million euros revenue in 2009 and 6800 employees.
  • Pasabahce (Turkey), 480 million euros revenue in 2009 and 5800 employees.


  1. ^ a b Colbert, C. "Arc International:Overview". Hoover's. Retrieved 2008-03-13. 
  2. ^ "Key statistics page". Archived from the original on 12 January 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-03. 
  3. ^ "Luminarc Classics". Arc International. Archived from the original on 2008-01-07. Retrieved 2008-01-26. 
  4. ^ "George Aratani". Densho Encyclopedia. Retrieved March 4, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Upward Arc". hfnmah. June 10, 2012. Retrieved March 4, 2013. 
  6. ^ "AnSeTa". 
  7. ^ "Arcopal bloemetjesbord". April 29, 2013. Retrieved April 29, 2013. 
  8. ^ "CPSC Recall for McDonalds Drinking Glasses". US CPSC. Archived from the original on 7 June 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-04. 
  9. ^ "Arc International Reacts to Recall". PR Newswire. Archived from the original on 5 June 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-04. 
  10. ^ "Global Glass Tableware Market is Expected to Reach USD 8,828.5 Million in 2017: Transparency Market Research". prnewswire. November 8, 2012. Retrieved 4 July 2014. 

External links[edit]