Arc Holdings

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Arc International
HeadquartersArques, France
Production output
Tableware goods
OwnerPeaked Hill Partners (80%) and Durand family (20%)
Number of employees
10,360 (2014)[1]

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.[2] It is privately held and has been owned by members of the Durand family since 1916.[2] 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.[3]



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.[4]

From 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 International group are to date Luminarc (launched in 1948), Arcoroc (launched in 1963), Cristal d'Arques (launched in Europe in 1968), Chef&Sommelier (launched in 2008 for fine dining and wine tasting, mostly for hospitality professionals), Arcopal (1958). In addition to these commercial brands, it also owns glass material brands: Zenix, Kwarx, Diamax. Arc International has created or acquired and then sold brands such as Arcuisine, Longchamps (launched in the US in 1968), Salviati (acquired in Italy in 1999), Pyrex (under license in Europe from World Kitchen from 2005 to 2014) and the fine crystal brand J. G. Durand, Studio Nova, and Mikasa Inc. (originally purchased by Arc International from founder George Aratani in 2000).[5] Mikasa was sold by the firm to Lifetime Brands in 2008 for an undisclosed amount.[6]


Arcopal France bakeware

The Arcopal 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.[7] Arcopal tableware was famous for its translucent opal borosilicate glass. In 1986 the Arcopal ranges of products were included in Luminarc and Arcoroc offers, under the ranges of products made in Opal. [8] The Arcopal France tableware is microwave and dishwasher safe. Arcopal bakeware is oven, microwave, and dishwasher safe.


The Luminarc brand was introduced in 1958, first as a brand for glasses made of annealed glass, then expanding to a generalist tableware items brand with multiple glass materials (Opal, annealed glass, tempered glass, Zenix, vitroceramic). To date it includes glasses, cups, bowls, salad bowls, plates, storage boxes, under concepts such as Color Vibrance, which features organic inks, Zenix, Flashy Colors, featuring organic inks and metallic looks, Pure Box and Keep'N Box. All Luminarc products are dishwasher safe, all dinnerware lines, tempered storage lines, salad bowls and hot drinks lines are shock-resistant and microwave safe. All major lines are made in the Arc International headquarters factory in Arques, France. Luminarc also features specific lines under license (Coca-Cola, Hello Kitty, Disney).

Cristal d'Arques[edit]

The Cristal d'Arques brand, created in 1968, was born from the industrialization of stemmed glasses crystal-making developed by Arc International. This innovation leads to mass-market commercialization and affordability of a material previously deemed luxury.

In 2009, the French crystal-making factory of Blaringhem was closed ([9]), and shortly after all collections of Cristal d'Arques products were made in Diamax. The brand is intended for consumers and features stemmed glasses, tumblers, vases, jugs and dessert plates. See also Cristal d'Arques article:[10]


Arcoroc was launched in 1963 first as a brand for tempered glass. It then evolved towards a generalist professional brand for use in the restaurant industry, featuring cutlery, dinnerware and glassware, with products majorly made of glass material (annealed glass, Opal, tempered glass, Zenix) but also complementary ranges of porcelain and stainless steel products. All Arcoroc products are professional dishwasher safe (2000 cycles claimed).

Arcoroc products, particularly the Fumer coffee mug, remain especially popular in New Zealand and Australia due to their durability and appeal to classlessness.[11][12]


The Chef&Sommelier brand was created after Mikasa was sold in 2008 as a brand designed for the restaurant industry. It features wine-tasting glasses and tumblers made of Kwarx, plates, cups and bowls made of Zenix and porcelain, and stainless steel cutlery. All Chef&Sommelier products claim professional dishwasher resistant (2000 cycles claimed), products made of Zenix and Kwarx lines are thermal and mechanical shock-resistant.


A technical glass material launched by Arc International in 2010, Zenix is the color of bone china, used by Arc International for plates lines under its Luminarc, Arcoroc and Chef&Sommelier brands. It claims a resistance to mechanical shocks up to 5 times stronger than products of similar thickness, a specific treatment to resist to knives scratches and marks, professional and domestic dishwasher resistance, and microwave-safety. Zenix is made in the Arc International headquarters factory in Arques, France.


A technical glass material launched by Arc International in 2006, Kwarx is used solely for making glasses under the Chef&Sommelier brand. It features perfect transparency and a resistance to mechanical shocks and professional dishwashers. Kwarx is made in the Arc International headquarters factory in Arques, France.


A technical glass material launched by Arc International in 2010, Diamax is used solely for all products under the Cristal d'Arques brand. Contrarily to crystal, Diamax doesn't include any lead, thus doesn't reproduce the sound of crystal. It features high transparency, Diamax is made in the Arc International headquarters factory in Arques, France.


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 4 June 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.[13]

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."[14]

Key competitors[15][edit]


  1. ^ Chiffres clés sur le site du groupe
  2. ^ a b Colbert, C. "Arc International:Overview". Hoover's. Retrieved 13 March 2008.
  3. ^ "Key statistics page". Archived from the original on 12 January 2008. Retrieved 3 January 2008.
  4. ^ "Luminarc Classics". Arc International. Archived from the original on 7 January 2008. Retrieved 26 January 2008.
  5. ^ "George Aratani". Densho Encyclopedia. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
  6. ^ "Upward Arc". hfnmah. 10 June 2012. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
  7. ^ "AnSeTa".
  8. ^ "Arcopal bloemetjesbord". 29 April 2013. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
  9. ^ "Arc International : 560 postes supprimés d'ici 2010". Retrieved 11 July 2018.
  10. ^ fr:Cristal d'Arques
  11. ^ John Summers (8 May 2019). "The people's cup: How the Arcoroc mug took over New Zealand". The Spinoff.
  12. ^ Afternoons with Jesse Mulligan (9 May 2019). "A celebration of Arcoroc mugs". RNZ. Cite has empty unknown parameter: |1= (help)
  13. ^ "CPSC Recall for McDonalds Drinking Glasses". US CPSC. Archived from the original on 7 June 2010. Retrieved 4 June 2010.
  14. ^ "Arc International Reacts to Recall". PR Newswire. Archived from the original on 5 June 2010. Retrieved 4 June 2010.
  15. ^ "Global Glass Tableware Market is Expected to Reach USD 8,828.5 Million in 2017: Transparency Market Research". prnewswire. 8 November 2012. Retrieved 4 July 2014.

External links[edit]