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Herman Miller to open six more showrooms in India

Wednesday 23 May 2012

Herman Miller is planning to expand its footprint in India by launching six new showrooms in metros and tier II cities in the next two years, a top official said. “We are bullish on the growth of India and we want to penetrate more into tier II cities across the country, besides adding more stores in the metros,” announced Kartik Shethia, sales director, Saarc region, Herman Miller.

“This year we will open three stores in Ahmedabad, Coimbatore, Lucknow, and next year in Chandigarh and Jaipur and we are scouting for one more suitable location with a quality dealership,” he said. At present, the firm has a total of 14 showrooms in India, whose tally will be increased to 20 in the next two years, Shethia said.

He said India is growing rapidly with a taste for branded office furniture and the company wants to tap this segment offering top international quality Herman Miller brand. He said in financial year 2009-10 and 2010-11, the Herman Miller stores in Indian had been clocking a turnover of Rs 65 crore–Rs 70 crore.

He added that the typical Herman Miller store size is 2,500 – 3,000 sq ft in tier I cities and 1,200-2,000 sq ft in tier II cities, requiring a franchisee partners to invest Rs 5 lakh – Rs 8 lakh. “Since we entered the Indian market in 2005, our stores have been breaking even and booking profit within the first year of operation,” Shethia said.

At present, the firm retails customised ranges of office furniture packages, which includes 35 product lines out of over 300 product lines sold globally. “The small, medium and large corporate houses as well other offices across cities in India are undergoing a makeover in their working environment with an eye for attractive decor,” Shethia said.

While the workstation chairs carry a price tag of Rs 35,000-Rs 1.25 lakh, inclusive of duties and taxes, a range of workstation furniture cost between Rs 25,000–Rs 1.50 lakh. “About 70 per cent of the office furniture is imported from our Chinese manufacturing facility, 25 per cent from the US and 5 per cent from Europe,” Shethia said. It competes with American multinational firms Steelcase, Haworth and Indian firms such as Godrej Interio, BP Ergo and Featherlite in the Indian market.

Shethia said the market size of high-end office furniture in India is in excess of $200 million, clocking an average year-on-year growth of 20-25 per cent.

“We are bullish on our growth at 25 per cent year-on-year,” he said.

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