Ensuring sustainable growth with seating and upholstered furniture

The COR manufactory, which has just received "Blue Angel" eco-label certification, is ending the financial year 2017 with an increase in sales of around 11 percent, with the overall net result amounting to around 39 million euros. Due to a successful model policy, new product developments and consistent model updates, incoming orders in all product segments – sofas, easy chairs and chairs – have increased.

The seating furniture manufacturer owes its success to a competitive, consistently innovative and evolving collection as well as a 11 percent increase in sales, of which the contract furniture business accounts for 17 percent: "2017 was a fruitful year for all business units and led to an overall result of around 39 million euros in sales," reports managing partner Leo Lübke. (The overall net result in the previous year was 34,9 million euros.) Contrary to frequent negative reports elsewhere, the premium manufacturer has not registered a decline in the specialist home furnishing trade. A consistent model policy has brought even the longseller Conseta a further 10 percent in growth. More recently added sofa models such as Mell Lounge (2015) and Trio (2016) are developing extremely positively and lie second and fourth respectively in the customer ranking. Cordia Lounge, which is rated the most comfortable easy chair in the premium segment by retailers, has become the third-best-selling piece of furniture since its market launch. With Jalis, another product segment has been expanded. The chair occupies 5th place in the best-seller list and also provided a high level of seating comfort at the G20 summit in the summer.

Top achievements don't just grow on trees

The highest demands on the design and quality of the largely manually produced furniture are implemented in each individual piece; an achievement that was certified with the "Blue Angel" eco-label in November 2017 following to a strict test procedure. All upholstered furniture produced as part of the standard collection is certified – for its entire lifecycle from production to disposal. "This is thanks to the exemplary performance of all the employees," says Leo Lübke. Since its foundation in 1954, the owner-managed medium-sized company has focused on its commitment to and further development of its employees, starting with closely supervised training in commercial and industrial occupations. At this year's DIHK (Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry) award ceremony, two of COR's former trainees were honoured as Germany's best upholsterer and upholstery and decorative seamstress. The title "Germany's best upholsterer" was awarded five years ago to a female COR employee who still works at the company today. At federal state level, the company's young home-grown talent is frequently awarded prizes at the IHK examinations.

Individualisation and customisation are key

The increasingly strong positioning in the contract business is based on a model policy that transfers homeliness and comfort to the working world. With the COR LAB collection developed in the autumn, new models from an interdisciplinary designer pool have been created for this purpose. On the one hand, the result enriches COR's portfolio for the Living area, with which almost all of the new developments are compatible. Above all, however, it is used by contract designers and architects to outfit offices and real estate with furniture that conveys a sense of privacy and whose design can be completely individualised in the manufactory. The ability to develop customised solutions in the shortest possible time is a strong competitive factor. Mint Architecture developed the "Office of the Future" for the Swiss Bank Cler, winning the German Design Award 2018 for its modern interior design which focuses on personal consulting and dispenses with conventional bank zones. COR's contribution to "transparency and openness in new dimensions" consists of furnishing with Jalis chairs, Pilotis tables and Trio sofas, the last of which were completely modified for final sampling in just five days. The basic module was given special dimensions and firmer upholstery, the seat depths and widths became narrower, the seat heights were increased and the upholstery fabrics were tailored in accordance with fire protection regulations. "As a small, sophisticated niche supplier, we do not compete with the industrial players," says Lübke, "but rather conquer our own particular clientele." In 2017 this was achieved in international markets, especially in Switzerland and the USA, the strongest export country: "The economic consequences of the change in government do not affect us, in fact we are doing better now."

Outlook for 2018

Among the innovations appearing at the imm International Furniture Fair in Cologne from 15 to 21 January 2018 is the sofa Moss, another individualist that is produced according to the principles of the lean factory. Its almost archaic design and the use of extremely high-quality materials including spacious down cushions dispense with compliant mainstream. It stands for freshness, closeness and substance – which is how the manufacturer describes its corporate values. Among the 220 employees, the new design is already regarded as the softest and most comfortable sofa in the market. In order to pass the "acid test" in the presence of dealers and end customers, it is fitted out sustainably – right up to the solid beech wood frame.


Contact COR 

Berthold Strüve, Marketing Director
Nonenstraße 12, 33378 Rheda-Wiedenbrück, Deutschland
T. +49.(0) 52 42. 41 02-240, b.strueve@cor.de


Helga Sonntag-Kunst, hsk communications
Warnckesweg 43, 22453 Hamburg, Deutschland
t +49.(0) 172 4157756, info@hsk-communications.com

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