Category Archives: CORT

CORT Increases Sales With Vertebrae 3D Technology

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Berkshire Hathaway’s CORT, the nation’s leading provider of furniture rental and transition services, has seen its conversion rates increase 111% since the launch of an immersive shopping experience allowing customers to have real-time interaction with products while remaining in their own home.

In January, CORT and Vertebrae, the technology leader in 3D & augmented reality (AR) solutions for retail, rolled out an immersive shopping experience allowing customers to have real-time interaction with products. Through its partnership with Vertebrae, CORT is able to utilize 3D and AR technology to bridge the gap between physical stores and online retail to give customers a hybrid shopping experience.

Customers can now view over 150 furniture and home accessory products from every angle, and virtually assess how a piece of furniture will look and fit in their own space.

In its first full month since launching in mid-January, CORT has seen conversion rates increase 111% with beds and sofas receiving the most interaction. In addition to doubling conversion rates from customers engaging with 3D products versus those not engaging, CORT has seen an 122% increase in revenue per visit for desktop users and 78% for mobile users.

“More consumers are shopping online than ever before, which makes this an exciting time to explore ways to enhance our online experience with the use of virtual technology,” said Ben Clark, senior manager of online business development at CORT. “Being able to provide our customers with the tools necessary to make educated rental decisions is a top priority for CORT.”

© 2022 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway and BYD, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell a stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

CORT Becomes Exclusive Supplier to Metro Offices

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Berkshire Hathaway’s CORT has been selected as an exclusive supplier by Metro Offices, a leading Flexible Workspace as a Service provider that is expanding its Metro Federal.

As a woman-owned and woman-operated private company, Metro has been operating business centers in the Washington Metropolitan area for the past 32 years. During those years, Metro has outsourced cumbersome office acquisition and administration functions to over 10,000 small and medium size companies.

“Metro has always been a company that seeks to be forward thinking on how we can assist our clients to be successful,” states Kathlene Buchanan, CEO and Founder of Metro. “With that in mind, over 10 years ago Metro sought to develop another solution to its future client base, in particular the federal government. Flexible Workspace as a Service solution provides an agency with a turnkey facility including furniture, utilities, communications, IT services and all related infrastructure, and full-time support staff under a services contract. Contracts are flexible, scalable, and applicable for 1-to-5-year terms.”

To achieve this nation-wide growth, Metro Federal has selected CORT’s Furniture-as-a-Service solution to contribute to the successful delivery of this solution.

“With the addition of CORT, our solution truly provides continuous flexibility to our government clients,” Ms. Buchanan said. “Metro and CORT will also modify the furniture configuration in our solution as the government agencies’ needs change during the contract.”

CORT’s workplace furniture offerings enable Metro Offices’ customers to increase flexibility as the fully furnished amenity brings customers one step closer to a turnkey facility. In addition to furnishings, clients are supported with expertise to locate and design their space, build out and equip an office as needed, all under one contract.

“We are very excited at CORT to be selected by Metro for this new offering to federal government customers,” said Todd Simpson, CORT Strategic Business Development Managing Director. “CORT and Metro Offices have partnered a number of times in recent years, and we’ve always been impressed with Metro’s ability to execute turnkey workspace solutions quickly and ahead of schedule, and then tailor them over time as their client’s needs change.”

© 2022 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell a stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Berkshire Hathaway’s CORT Announces New President/COO

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Berkshire Hathaway’s CORT, the nation’s leading provider of furniture rental and transition services, has announced the promotion of Mike Davis to President and Chief Operating Officer.

In his new role, Davis will be responsible for overseeing all operations and sales for CORT Furniture Rental, CORT Trade Show & Events, CORT Party Rental, 4SITE by CORT and Roomservice by CORT in the UK.

“Mike’s leadership experience across the organization gives him great insight and will assist driving client satisfaction and exceptional results across all of our businesses,” said CORT’s Chairman and CEO, Jeff Pederson.

Davis began his career with CORT in 1997 at CORT Furniture Rental in San Francisco. Over the years he has held executive leadership roles in both sales and operations, including Executive Vice President for CORT Furniture Rental and the Trade Show and Events Divisions. In 2016, Mike was promoted to Chief Operating Officer before his current promotion to President and Chief Operating Officer.

“In this new role I look forward to continuing to execute our long-term strategic plans as we recover from the impact of the pandemic,” said Davis. “We have an exceptional group of people at CORT, and I am confident in our ability to exceed our customers’ expectations as we grow and continue to adapt to their changing business needs.”

© 2021 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

CORT adds Vice President of Business Strategy

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Berkshire Hathaway’s furniture rental company, CORT, has announced that J.T. Marcum has joined the furniture rental company as Vice President of Business Strategy.

Marcum will be relocating from Dallas, Texas, to CORT’s headquarters in Chantilly, Virginia, where he will report directly to CORT’s Chief Operating Officer Mike Davis.

“We are thrilled to have J.T. as part of the CORT leadership team,” said Davis. “J.T. brings great perspective and insight during a time of rapid change in Logistics and Last Mile services. His ability to push innovative customer solutions and question the status quo are just a few reasons we hired him. He has a proven track record of success in creating and leading teams, and we look forward to leveraging his fresh thinking at CORT.”

Marcum brings close to 15 years of experience in developing new business units and pursuing untapped revenue segments. Prior to joining CORT, Marcum was the Vice President of Account Management at Lineage Logistics headquartered in Novi, MI. In his new role, Marcum will focus on new adaption of CORT’s current business offerings and support corporate operations strategy. By integrating CORT’s warehousing, transportation, fulfillment and distribution processes with the latest innovations, Marcum aims to help these teams think about new ways of doing business to solve customers’ logistics and supply chain issues.

“I am thrilled to join CORT and work with the leader in furniture rental,” said Marcum. “Using our networks and capabilities as they exist today to help customers solve real business problems will be my core focus. I am excited to develop and launch new programs while reimagining existing service offerings to help CORT stay relevant and evolve as a business to meet customer demands so we can continue to lead the industry for decades to come.”

© 2019 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Special Report: CORT Furniture Courts Academic Institutions

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

With formerly generous relocation dollars in short supply in the aftermath of the 2009 recession, CORT Furniture has been aggressively seeking new markets. While relocation dollars still exist, “companies are no longer giving them out like candy,” says George Bertrand, CORT’s Regional Vice President for Operations and Sales.

Founded in 1972, and acquired by Berkshire Hathaway in January 2000, CORT’s primary business is providing rental furniture for homes, businesses and events (including trade shows), and providing relocation services. The company’s service area is the U.S. and the U.K., and annual revenues for all CORT operations exceeds $420 million.

Earnings in 2014 were roughly $36 million.

Seeking New Markets

With its core business hit hard by the 2009 recession, CORT expanded into the party rental business with the 2011 acquisition of the Seattle-based ABC Special Event Rentals, and the 2014 acquisition of another Seattle-area party rental business, AA Party Rentals. Party rentals now make up roughly $12 million in CORT’s annual revenues.

Academic Institutions Offer Opportunities for Growth

Another market CORT sees great potential in is providing furniture leasing to academic institutions.

Traditionally, academic institutions maintain huge inventories of furniture for dorm rooms that requires a high degree of maintenance and upkeep. These days, colleges and universities are increasingly aware that the on-campus quality of life is a major selling point to prospective students. They have upgraded athletic facilities with rock-climbing walls and rows of treadmills, and they have upgraded food services with gourmet entrees that are a far cry from the bland foods of yesteryear. They have also upgraded the dormitory experience, and in this area CORT is providing solutions that include furniture delivery service and ongoing maintenance.

Currently, only 14.3 percent of academic institutions are outsourcing their furnishing services, offering CORT a huge potential market for expansion.

According to CORT’s own survey, which they conducted with University Business Magazine, “budget restrictions” were the biggest impediments respondents cited in providing up-to-date and top condition furniture for students’ dorm rooms.

According to the survey results:

87 percent of respondents stated that budget and personnel restrictions are the biggest challenges facing their institution.

95 percent said the appearance and condition of their furnishings is important or very important to the maintaining the college’s image and integrity.

However, 37 percent described their furnishings as “outdated” and almost 20 percent said it’s “showing its age.

Out-sourcing their furniture needs to CORT is one way for institutions to keep their focus on academics, rather than on running a used furniture empire. CORT puts it simply. “Furniture leasing is a simple and affordable solution, especially as many colleges and universities are trying to meet increasing expectations with less available resources.”

© 2015 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.