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The History of BIC the story of a man who revolutionised writing: Marcel Bich

By SpeedyMarquee

 

1944 - MARCEL BICH AND EDOUARD BUFFARD

In 1944, Marcel Bich (1914-1994) buys a factory in Clichy, France, and sets up business with his partner, Édouard Buffard (1908-1996), as a maker of writing instruments parts.

 

1950 - BIRTH OF BIC® CRISTAL®

Marcel Bich, believing in the potential for the ballpoint pen, adapts and improves the ballpoint invented by the Hungarian László Biró, and in December 1950, launches his own ballpoint pen in France under the BIC® brand, a shortened and more memorable version of his own name. The quality and affordable price of the BIC® Cristal® ballpoint pen means that it is quickly adopted by an increasing number of consumers.

 

1951 - BIC IN BELGIUM

BIC establishes a presence in Belgium, the first step outside France.

 

1952 - SUCCESSFUL ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN

BIC wins the French “Oscar de la publicité” with the “Elle court, elle court” advertising campaign drawn by famous French designer Raymond Savignac.

 

1952 - LE TOUR DE FRANCE

BIC participates in the Tour de France publicity caravan for the first time. Participation continues in 1953, 1954, 1955 and today!

 

1953 - CREATION OF SOCIÉTÉ BIC

Marcel Bich and Édouard Buffard create Société BIC to manufacture and distribute BIC® ballpoint pens.

 

1954 - EXPANSION IN ITALY

BIC establishes a presence in Italy, then in the Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland and Spain.

 

1956 - FIRST STEPS IN BRAZIL

BIC arrives in Brazil in 1956. A factory is built in São Paulo in 1960 establishing BIC’s expansion into South America.

 

1956 - LAUNCH OF BIC® M10®

The launch of the BIC® M10® retractable pen marks the expansion of BIC’s ballpoint pen range.

 

1957 - DEVELOPMENT IN THE UNITED KINGDOM AND THE STERLING ZONE

BIC acquires Biro Swan in the UK, thereby moving into Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa.

 

1958 - BIC BEGINS ITS CONQUEST OF THE NORTH AMERICAN MARKET

The Company purchases the Waterman Pen Company in the U.S. and enters the North American market.

 

1959 - BIC IN SCANDINAVIA

BIC enters the Scandinavian market.

 

1960 - BIC IN AFRICA AND THE MIDDLE EAST

BIC progressively develops the Africa and Middle East regions by selling products through local distributors.

 

1961 - THE BIC® BOY LOGO IS CREATED

Raymond Savignac creates a character with a ballpoint head for the “Nouvelle Bille” (new ballpoint) campaign in 1960. This little boy is then placed next to the letters B-I-C, both turned to orange. The logo has remained unchanged ever since and orange became BIC’s official color.

 

1965 - BIC IN JAPAN

BIC enters the Japanese market.

 

1967 - BIC PROFESSIONAL CYCLIST TEAM

Between 1967 and 1974, BIC was involved in a major cycling race with its own team of professional road cyclists, among them, the winner of the 1973 edition, Luis Ocaña.

 

1969 - CREATION OF BIC GRAPHIC

BIC has the idea of offering other brands a selection of its products for use as advertising aids.

 

1970 - LAUNCH OF BIC® 4-COLOR™

Launch of the BIC® 4-Color™ pen.

 

1972 - LISTING ON THE STOCK EXCHANGE

BIC is listed on the Paris Stock Exchange. Marcel Bich writes a letter to Société BIC shareholders in which he explains his business philosophy.

 

1973 - BIC DIVERSIFIES ITS PRODUCT PORTFOLIO WITH THE POCKET LIGHTER

After acquiring Flaminaire, a French manufacturer of high-quality lighters the year prior, BIC launches the first BIC® full-size pocket lighter with an adjustable flame. Its reliability and quality make it an immediate success.

 

1973 - BIC IN MEXICO

BIC begins manufacturing and distributing products in the Mexican market.

 

1975 - LAUNCH OF THE FIRST ONE-PIECE RAZOR

After partnering with Violex, a greek manufacturer of razor blades, BIC is the first brand to launch a one-piece razor.

 

1979 - BIC ADDS CONTÉ® TO ITS PORTFOLIO

BIC acquires Conté®, a famous 200-year-old French brand of drawing and coloring products.

 

1981 - THE GROUP DIVERSIFIES INTO THE LEISURE INDUSTRY

BIC acquires Tabur Marine and begins manufacturing and selling water sports products, shortly afterwards under the BIC Sport brand.

 

1992 - ACQUISITION OF WITE-OUT®

To broaden its range of stationery products, BIC purchases Wite-Out®, a famous American brand of correction products.

 

1993 - LAUNCH OF BIC® EVOLUTION®

BIC launches BIC® Evolution®, a graphite and coloring pencil made with recycled materials.

 

1995 - BIC IN EASTERN EUROPE

BIC opens BIC Polska, followed in 1996 by BIC Russia and further expansion in Eastern Europe.

 

1997 - BIC ADDS TIPP-EX® TO ITS PORTFOLIO

BIC purchases the Tipp-Ex® brand, the leading European brand of correction products.

 

2001 - BIC® CRISTAL® ENTERS THE MOMA

The BIC® Cristal® pen is made a part of the permanent collection of the Department of Architecture and Design of the Museum of Modern Art of New York (MoMA).

 

2002 - LAUNCH OF MULTI-PURPOSE LIGHTERS

BIC launches a range of Multi-purpose Lighters for lighting fires, barbecues and candles.

 

2002 - COMMITMENT TO SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

BIC launches its sustainable development program.

 

2004 - BIC ACQUIRES MARKET LEADER STYPEN®

BIC enters a new market segment in stationery, the refillable school fountain pen, with the acquisition of Stypen® in France.

 

2004 - LAUNCH OF THE BIC® SOLEIL® RAZOR

BIC launches the BIC® Soleil® razor, the first triple-blade in the one-piece segment specifically designed for women.

 

2006 - BIC ACQUIRES PIMACO® IN BRAZIL

The purchase of Pimaco®, Brazil’s leading manufacturer and distributor of adhesive labels, broadens BIC’s range of stationery products in Latin America.

 

2006 - BIC® CLASSIC PEN, LIGHTER AND RAZOR ENTER THE MUSÉE NATIONAL D’ART MODERNE IN PARIS

The BIC® Cristal® pen, the BIC® full-size pocket lighter and the BIC® Classic Original and Classic sensitive one-blade razors are made a part of the permanent collection of the Musée national d’Art moderne/ Centre de création industrielle-Centre Georges Pompidou Paris.

 

2009 - OPENING A PACKAGING FACILITY IN MEXICO

In November, the Company opens a new Shaver packaging facility in Mexico.

 

2009 - BIC SETS UP BUSINESS IN INDIA WITH CELLO PENS

BIC Group signs an agreement to acquire a stake in Cello Pens, the number one brand of writing instruments in India. BIC Group fully acquires Cello Pens in 2015.

 

2011 - PARTNERSHIP WITH TERRACYCLE

BIC partners with TerraCycle in Europe, a pioneer in collecting and reusing non-recyclable waste.

 

2011 - BACK IN THE TOUR DE FRANCE

After an absence of 15 years, BIC is back in the Tour de France publicity caravan. The adventure continues each year.

 

2012 - CREATION OF BIC MIDDLE EAST SUBSIDIARY

A new BIC subsidiary is established in Dubaï, to manage operations in the Middle East allowing direct communication with local customers and consumers.

 

2013 - OPENING OF A WRITING INSTRUMENT FACILITY IN TUNISIA

BIC Tunisia stationery factory opens in Bizerte, in the fast-growing African and Middle East region, to enhance the Group’s manufacturing footprint and better meet consumer demand in this region.

 

2013 - OPENING OF A LIGHTER FACILITY IN CHINA

BIC Group opens a lighter facility in China (Nantong). With this new facility, the Group is better positioned to supply the fast growing Asian lighter market and particularly China.

 

Information obtained from: https://www.bicworld.com/en

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