Wicker beach chairs have dotted seashores along the North and Baltic Seas since the late 19th century. Fast forward to the 21st century and vacationers in Travemünde can now spend a night in a special wicker beach basket. An EU-funded, barrier-free beach chair complete with ramp, a folding seat and a parking surface for wheelchairs or walking frames was presented this summer in Warnemünde.
Kay Gosebeck, a wicker beach chair producer near Stade, is the brain behind these cosy chairs and for prolonging that dream holiday feeling. His company in Buxtehude Die Strandkorbprofis, which Gosebeck runs with his son Nils, banks on giving customers that Baltic or North Sea holiday feeling in their own homes. Founded in 2004, the company has since sold around 75,000 wicker chairs for beaches, gardens, terraces or balconies.
Happy business coincidence
The trend is clearly towards comfort and a splendid look, said Gosebeck. A teak model with a particularly wide seat measuring 1.45 metres is proving a hit among customers. Gosebeck came to his business model by chance. Many years ago, an acquaintance offered him a large batch of beach chairs, which had actually been intended for a DIY chain store. However, the store rejected the delivery of the baskets, which had arrived too late. Gosebeck took the baskets instead and was surprised by the swift sales. “That’s how my company came about,” said Gosebeck. He and his son employ 50 people at the company’s headquarters in Buxtehude.
Heated beach chair
The company now produces four different beach chairs, which vary in price from EUR 850 to EUR 3,000. This autumn, Gosebeck intends to launch the brand new wicker beach chair with integrated, heated seating. “This will allow us to boost sales during the colder months.” Many customers pop into the company on their return home from holiday or order online. Around 42 per cent of customers hail from North Rhine-Westphalia where they apparently miss that beach feeling, said Gosbeck.
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