“Everything we produced, we sold it. The enthusiasm of François Robert, commercial director of Cornilleau, is heard at the end of the phone. The spring figures fell and the industrialist from Bonneuil-les-Eaux, specializing in the manufacture of table tennis equipment, increased its sales by 20% from March to June, boosting by 2.5 million euros ( M €) its turnover.
Confined, individuals rushed to ping-pong tables to pass the time. The phenomenon has become global, evolving with the spread of the virus and the confinements of the 85 countries to which it exports. "There is a euphoric side for us and an embarrassment compared to all the people and companies who suffer from this period", confides François Robert.
“Unavailable”, “out of stock”… The Cornilleau site or that of Decathlon, one of its main resellers, speak for themselves. “We still cannot stem the demand. As soon as a production is made, we deliver it to the store or we put it on our site but in a few hours, it goes, comments the management. For an industrialist, these are good problems. "
+ 10% expected turnover
The planets are therefore aligned so that Cornilleau concludes 2020 with a good turnover, estimated for the time being at 10% additional revenue compared to the previous year (27.5 M €). Enough to look to the future with serenity. “We will accelerate the investment projects that were planned. For those on whom we hesitated, we hesitate a little less ”, confides François Robert. Scheduled for March 2021, a new range of materials, with modernized design and colors, will give the the of this renewal.
Confinement over, Cornilleau is now taking advantage of the summer period, which is always favorable for its sales. In July, the increase is less clear than in the spring but still existing, with sales valued at 10% more than in previous years.
Very responsive employees
A (small) regret, however. “We could probably have sold a lot more tables,” imagines François Robert. Closed like many companies at the start of confinement, Cornilleau reopened two weeks later with production capacities reduced by health constraints, which did not spare subcontractors and suppliers either.
For the first time, the company's employees worked 3-8 hours, had badged on certain weekends and holidays. "Very appreciable efforts", "spontaneous" according to the management, which welcomes "a great human adventure".