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From Home Furnishing Business

DWR Buy Gives Herman Miller Means to Reach Consumers

Herman Miller knows times have changed, and it can no longer rely so heavily on selling office and institutional furniture to Fortune 1,000 companies and government agencies.

The company’s purchase of Design Within Reach is a key step toward CEO Brian Walker’s goal of transitioning the Zeeland, Mich., company, primarily known as a wholesaler, into what he described as a “lifestyle brand.” The company, in short, hopes to sell more of its often-iconic furniture and other wares into not just homes, but schools, doctor’s offices, restaurants and more.

“We realized if we don’t do something, we are going to be left behind in a shrinking pie,” Walker said during the company’s investor presentation on Thursday. “How do we follow [the consumer] through [the] day?”

Herman Miller, like office-supplies retailers Staples Inc. and Office Depot Inc., is seeking growth outside of its bread-and-butter business as governments have cut budgets and as mobile devices change the way people work and use office equipment and furniture.

Read Entire Story Source: MarketWatch 

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