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A business consultancy, based in London, England, John Sacks' JSA Consultancy Services provides expert, in-depth, information advice and guidance as to how to exploit successfully the office furniture and interiors markets in Europe, North America, Australasia and Japan.

Herman Miller moving more towards domestic furniture

Sunday 24 August 2014

With the acquisition last month of Connecticut-based Design Within Reach Inc., Zeeland-based Herman Miller Inc. aims to push far deeper into consumer furniture to top the $500 million mark in annual sales.

Design Within Reach, a distributor of modern furniture, lighting and accessories, gives Herman Miller a new platform to accelerate growth in the consumer segment. It views the $95 billion segment as far less volatile than the $10 billion office furniture industry and as offering greater growth potential.

Moving into the consumer segment fits with an "office to everywhere" strategy established a decade ago after a three-year downturn in the early 2000s. The strategy pushed Herman Miller to serve a cross-section of markets -- office, health care, education, hospitality and even residential.

CEO Brian Walker emphasized that the company is not moving away from contract office furniture. Rather, Herman Miller seeks to tap the much larger consumer segment at a time when mobile technology enables people to work from anywhere. As work and home become more blended, that creates more opportunity to market crossover products under the Herman Miller brand.

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