Starting the 2021 business year nicely padded

The 2020 corporate year was more turbulent than virulent: After initial ups and downs, COR once again increased its annual sales and at the same time achieved the highest order intake since it was founded.

As a premium furniture brand Made in Germany, the manufacturer COR, founded in 1954, had to face the global challenges of the pandemic year 2020. After the successful trade fair appearance in Cologne in January until the start of the lockdown in the spring, numerous new placements in the trade in particular ensured a positive order situation and capacity utilisation in the factory; short-time working in production was only announced from mid-April to the end of May. "In retrospect, a temporary slump," explains owner Leo Lübke, "but one that put our annual planning to a tough test in May." It was almost unforeseeable that by the end of December sales revenue would increase by two per cent and incoming orders by as much as eleven per cent. After a record year with total sales of 42 million euros and incoming orders of 45 million euros, the company is starting the new business year nicely padded and with high capacity utilisation in production. On its way to becoming a lean factory, COR is continuing to work on streamlining its production processes and is investing continuously in all areas of the company. As in the previous year, the workforce comprises 220 employees.

Trade loyalty and more time at home are crucial

While COR increased its sales to specialist retailers in the German-speaking and Benelux countries in the home market segment, the planned export and contract business was quieter, particularly in the USA. The international export quota totalled 22 per cent (2019: 26 per cent), while the share of contract business was 18 per cent (2019: 23 per cent). "Experience shows that overseas markets recover quickly when the economic conditions are right," says Leo Lübke. The company is delighted by the commitment and confidence with which the specialised trade navigated through difficult times. Despite many hurdles, large and small companies have continued to provide their customers with intensive support, planning furnishings, processing furniture requests and fulfilling these up to and including on-time installation. The inevitable trend towards spending more time within one's own four walls has made many people more aware of the importance of comfortable furnishings. COR has supplied partners in the contract sector 'face to face' in compliance with hygiene regulations. As a replacement for the cancelled Orgatec trade fair, a roadshow with new models was held, including a temporary showroom in Hamburg's Stilwerk.

Cautiously pushing ahead with digitalisation

Parallel to communication at the point of sale, COR increasingly used digital channels and social media to bind retailers and end customers to the brand and to continue to inspire them time and again. "We remain very present in analogue contexts, and the dialogue with young target groups is conducted on digital platforms," says Marketing Manager Berthold Strüve. Emotive short films in particular set the scene for the portfolio of high-quality sofas, easy chairs, chairs and tables. Configuring the furniture of one's dreams online is a popular option among customers. However, unlike in the automotive sector, the final purchase decision is made after a consultation in the retail trade or at the COR Markenhaus. Sensory experience, trying out upholstery and fabric and leather qualities are co-guarantors of high customer satisfaction. This is one of the reasons why a COR Studio was opened in Berlin in 2020. COR is also present in the Federal Chancellery – with the design classic Conseta.

Outlook for 2021

Known for promoting the renewal of seating culture through design innovations, COR is presenting for the first time a piece of furniture that is refreshingly easy to use indoors and outdoors in harmony with nature and the environment – the "Farmer Chair". With the re-edition of Gerd Lange's design from 1965, the company is paying tribute to his pioneering design and showcasing the classic chair, also for future generations. The young, successful Mell Lounge range has a new upholstered lounger for cocooning as a couple, and the recently launched Alvo chair collection has a surprise in the form of a bar chair. The Orient-inspired Jalis sofa – taking the shape of oversized, folded upholstered cushions – will be available as a new divan version.

Continuous trust in the brand

The entire collection will be communicated in 2021 in the media and through planned trade fair appearances in Milan, Rotterdam and Zurich – provided these take place. After the lockdown, the new releases can also be viewed side by side with bestsellers and classics in the newly designed COR Haus and in the COR interlübke Studios, the COR Studio Berlin and at selected retail partners. "We are expecting a good new year," Leo Lübke anticipates. And even if things get turbulent again, COR enjoys a high level of brand trust – just as it has done for the past sixty-seven years.



Anna Thiessen, Corporate Communication

t +49.(0)5242.4102-235

COR Sitzmöbel Helmut Lübke GmbH & Co. KG

Nonenstr. 12, D-33378 Rheda-Wiedenbrück

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