Loyalty lasts: COR Sitzmöbel completes its 60th year

In 2014, the 212 staff at the renowned furniture manufactory in Ostwestfalen are celebrating 60 years of COR. Together with Leo Lübke they will continue to ensure that people all over the world sit in "princely" fashion.

January 2014. The company name alone (COR – Latin for heart) demonstrates that home furnishings have been a matter close to the heart of all the employees since 1954. The fact that furniture providing excellent sitting comfort is produced to this day is due to the influence of no less a figure than the company partner Prince Casimir von Bentheim-Tecklenburg. The princely house is still bound in friendship to the company today. The men of the first hour also included Leo Lübke Senior and the then 18-year-old Helmut Lübke who was prematurely declared to have reached majority in order to manage the company. In 1996, the latter handed over the firm to Leo Lübke who became only the second managing director in the company's history to date. "Loyalty is one of our deep roots," explains Leo Lübke. "It means lived responsibility. Whether it is a designer, a supplier, a specialist dealer or an employee; everyone can rely on it." This loyalty characterises the company, its clear, uncompromising design, its commitment to the location and manual production, and its ambition to make good things better. It is with this conviction that the 212 employees begin work every day: joiners, upholsterers, sewers, technicians and administrative staff. They develop, build and sell "their" furniture for people to enjoy for many years to come. And they remain true to themselves. To mark the 25th anniversary in 1980, around one hundred "Corians" gathered at the company premises in Nonenstrasse in Rheda-Wiedenbrück for a group photo with the caption "We ensure comfort wherever it is lacking." The workforce stands unwaveringly by this maxim and the same and now considerably larger works site. One of their number, Friedel Ortkraß from the Development Department, has been here for half a century: "As an apprentice I used to cycle to work in the morning, past the women's prison." An establishment that has (happily) no longer been there for some time...

The COR spirit – a secret?

The owner-managed family enterprise has never had any problems with staff recruitment: employees stay with the firm for many years and their sons and daughters follow them. "Good performance, whether in the technical or commercial area, is essential," emphasises Leo Lübke, "but good human and personal relations are also indispensable." Many of the staff members come to us at an early age, receive our support from the very beginning and often complete their final examinations as best in class, even at a national level. "We look after each other," confirms Technical Director Karl-Heinz Schmeißer, who has been with the company for twenty-five years. "Naturally, we use modern machinery in wood processing and CAD precision tools for cutting or upholstery. But technology is only as good as the person using it." Without the right instincts and an eye for a particular thread behaviour, for example, no tailored fabric covers can be made, no leather hide can be checked for quality and subsequently made to fit perfectly following processing.

Confidence with high recognition value

The people of Ostwestfalen are not known for being particularly talkative, but when they say something, they mean it. In 1994, Helmut Lübke decided that his company would be one of the first in Germany to undergo an eco-audit. This is just one of the many ways in which COR meets its ecological responsibility, but it is the most laborious. The company later decided to continue working to the same strict standards, but to dispense with the huge effort of acquiring a "stamp". "We are not fond of adorning ourselves with labels," comments Leo Lübke, "the 'Blue Angel' for our most successful furniture programme CONSETA was also given careful consideration among numerous test seals." In all modesty, the seating furniture manufacturer remains self-assured when it comes to responsibility and the quality of its own products. It has been integrating sustainability as a 'renewable' resource in its furniture for decades: Most of the furniture rests on a solid beechwood frame sourced from the neighbouring forest. The latest offshoot is ELM, a seating furniture programme for 2014 with an exposed wooden frame. Previously hidden (almost invisibly) on the inside, one of its inner values has been transported very clearly to the outside by the company in its 60th year. Visibly – and unmistakably – COR.

About COR

The family business now owner-managed in the second generation was established in Rheda-Wiedenbrück, Ostwestfalen on 17 December, 1954. In 2013, the company's 215 employees generated sales of 30,6 million euros with manually produced seating furniture which is distributed all over the world. The product portfolio embraces upholstered suites, individual easy chairs, tables and chairs, divans and sofa beds, as well as carpets. Renowned designers have shaped the seating furniture manufacturer's award-winning collections for decades. These include Friedrich Wilhelm Möller, Peter Maly, Rolf Heide, Prof. Wulf Schneider, Studio Vertijet, Gabriele Assmann and Alfred Kleene, Gil Coste, Holger Janke, Jörg Boner, Jehs+Laub, Müller+Wulff, Karsten Weigel, Prof. Uwe Fischer, Murken+Hansen, Aurélien Barbry, Christoph Marchand and Kressel+Schelle.

For more information, please contact

COR Sitzmöbel Helmut Lübke GmbH & Co. KG
Berthold Strüve,  Marketing Manager
Nonenstraße 12, 33378 Rheda-Wiedenbrück, Germany
t +49.(0)5242.4102-240
f +49.(0)5242.4102-940

The East Westphalian seating furniture manufacturer has continuously reduced its greenhouse gas emissions according to its recently published Sustainability Report 2022/2023. It has also improved its environmental footprint in many other respects.

Sponsored by the German Institute for Service Quality, the DUP UNTERNEHMER magazine and ntv, the award went to the East Westphalian seating furniture manufacturer for first place in the category of recycling with the CORever second-life programme.…