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Furniture designer Herman Miller announced Tuesday the opening of its first “experiential retail concept” storefront, situated in Westfield Century City, with a second location to follow at The Shops at Hudson Yards in New York City on November 20. Additional locations are planned to open across the country in 2021.
The Herman Miller Stores are the first brick-and-mortar locations dedicated to selling task chairs and products that support the home office and small business worker, with the ability to “test-drive” products, according to the announcement.
“We’re in a time where many find themselves sedentary, working from home, sitting down for more hours than ever before, and the dining room chair just isn’t cutting it anymore,” Debbie Propst, president of Herman Miller Retail, said in the release. “We can do better — especially when it comes to our well-being. The public deserves healthier alternatives and they’re searching for better solutions online. We’ve heard from customers that they want a way to test our products in person before making the investment.”
Each location will have a “dedicated ergonomic specialist” on-hand to help shoppers “better understand the health and productivity benefits of sitting well.” Customers also have the option to visit the store remotely through a virtual chat function on the Herman Miller website, allowing each visitor to experience the store through a personalized one-on-one video call.
“Optimizing the well-being of our customers is at the center of what we do,” Propst said. “We accelerated the development of our new concept stores in direct response to new customer demands and we are thrilled to introduce a personalized experience to meet their needs. Herman Miller Stores are built to help visitors explore their options and discover the right solutions to sit comfortably and live a more balanced and productive life.”
Designed in-house by Herman Miller’s creative design team, each 1,500 square-foot store enables visitors to test and compare each chair’s physical features in person — from pressure distribution and individualized adjustment capabilities to breathable suspension materiality and backrest adjustments. Product finishes and details can be customized onsite.
“This growth comes at a time where home office furnishings are more important than ever,” Propst said. “As more and more companies turn fully remote, our customers are seeking to upgrade their home offices and preserve their health. After decades of ergonomic research, Herman Miller’s performance seating offers not only exceptional comfort but also lasting health benefits to help consumers navigate these difficult times.”