US office furniture makers think outside the desk
Chair size, electrical technology and beds.
The NeoCon office furniture trade show held here this week shows that many products appear to be inconsistent with the company\'s desks and chairs.
However, these seemingly outstanding companies are in line with the diversity strategy, and some companies have demonstrated some initiatives outside the office market of NeoCon, which ended in June 13.
\"The last recession (in 2001-2002)
It\'s very difficult for everyone in the industry, \"said Sabrina Carollo, an analyst at Ariel Capital, who owns a stake in Steelcase Inc. (SCS. N)
Herman Miller(MLHR. O).
\"They are trying to diversify so that this will not happen again.
Analysts say office furniture is still the core business of the industry.
In 2006, American companies produced $10.
According to the association of commercial and institutional furniture manufacturers, furniture worth 82 billion of the domestic market (BIFMA)
, Tracking standard industry categories such as seats, desks, storage, etc.
BIFMA is considering collecting non-data for members
Tom Reardon, executive director of the association, said traditional products as new market segments become increasingly important to the industry.
Steelcase and Herman Miller have long sold office furniture in hospitals, but now they emphasize health --
Carollo says the care part of their business is offered to investors in a more acute way.
David Sylvester, chief financial officer, said Steelcase is increasingly entering the technical dimensions of hospital furniture, such as laboratory equipment and patient room suites.
At the show, Steelcase rolled out a table on the patient\'s bed with a cup holder, optional trash can accessories and drawers for personal items such as lipstick.
Carollo said that Steele case and Herman Miller did not disclose the income they generated for the furniture they made for the hospital, but that has raised the top level. HNI Corp. (HNI. N)
Furniture for hospitals, but not patients.
Controller Robert Driessnack says specific products.
The most exciting segment outside HNI office furniture is education.
HNI\'s HON brand sells furniture to primary, secondary and high schools, and its all steel brand sells furniture to universities.
\"We are doing research and you should expect to see new products as early as this time next year,\" Askren said . \".
Herman Miller used NeoCon to highlight the new subsidiary, Convia, and its technology of the same name.
Convia is a power grid or cable system that distributes power every 10 inch kilometers and replaces the light switch with a remote control stick.
The wand can turn multiple lights on or off at the same time, and it can also route the power to a new part of the grid so that there is no need for rewiring to transform.
Spokeswoman Jane Chach said a large retailer uses Convia in 1,100 of its stores, although she declined to give the retailer the name.
Georgia Tech installed Convia in the Atlanta library.
Conway President Randy Stoch declined to disclose Conway\'s financial goals and how much revenue Conway has generated so far, but it does say it will make a profit within three years, and has achieved revenue targets for the first quarter, which began in June 4. Knoll Inc. (KNL. N)
The size version of the two classic chairs includes a chair that is permanently present at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
The company will sell these chairs through its retail channels for at least $2,267 each.
Knoll chief executive Andrew Cogan said the business earned up to $5 million three years ago, but now it has $20 million, which could reach $50 million in four years.