Published in Manufacturing

Herman Miller launches e-commerce platform for commercial clients

BY Thursday, April 15, 2021 04:09pm

ZEELAND — Office furniture manufacturer Herman Miller Inc. unveiled a new e-commerce platform this week that caters to the company’s commercial clients.

Called Herman Miller Professional, the online store was created for small and mid-size businesses looking to purchase office furnishings online. 

Designed to make the ordering and shipping processes quick and convenient, Herman Miller compiled a curated set of 450 different products that span the company’s family of brands — Design Within Reach, HAY, naughtone and Colebrook Bosson Saunders — and also touts business pricing and live chat support.

“As a company with a foot in both the retail and contract worlds, we need to continue to evolve our experiences to fit the needs of these two diverse groups, especially in contract, where the size of our customers range from a dozen employees to thousands,” Herman Miller Chief Digital Officer Ben Groom said in a statement. 

“Each sector has certain expectations of how they would like their purchasing journey to work,” Groom added. “From the moment a customer accesses one of our sites to the moment their product arrives, our goal is to exceed their expectations, customize experiences and ensure every customer feels they’re getting the support and resources they need to make decisions every step of the way.”

Herman Miller Professional is currently only available for U.S.-based clients, however, the company plans to expand the service to other regions of the world.

The launch comes as Herman Miller looks to rebound from plummeting sales in its North American contract furniture segment. Last month, Herman Miller reported its 2021 fiscal year results for its third quarter that included $590.5 million in sales for the three-month period, down 11.3 percent from the same time last year.

Herman Miller also reported a 13.1-percent decrease in new orders from a year ago. The company attributed the falloff to demand pressures in the North American contract furniture market, where sales were off 35 percent and orders dipped 38 percent

“This is a huge win for both our contract customers and our dealers,” said John Michael, Herman Miller’s president of North America Contract. “Herman Miller Professional is designed for customers looking to explore a curated inventory on their own and place quick orders. Because this is exclusively for companies rather than individuals, customers can also tap into exclusive business discounts. For these customers, Herman Miller Professional is a supportive and easy option to expedite low volume orders.”

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