Herman Miller has opened a new retail format dedicated to high-performance “task” chairs and other products that support the home office and small business worker.
The design-driven office and home furniture company debuted the Herman Miller Stores concept at Westfield Century City in Los Angeles. A second location is set to open on Nov. 20, at The Shops at Hudson Yards in New York City. Additional locations are planned to open across the country in 2021.
The Herman Miller Stores offer an educational and experiential process that allows customers to sit down and try products for themselves. Each location will have a dedicated ergonomic specialist on-hand to help shoppers better understand the health and productivity benefits of sitting well.
The company said the new concept was created in direct response to present-day customer demands and introduces a new way for the public to test-drive Herman Miller products. Designed in-house by Herman Miller's creative design team, each 1,500 sq. ft. store features immersive vignettes that highlight the iconic products and innovative solutions for the home office, including the brand’s performance seating portfolio.
"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," said Debbie Propst, president Herman Miller Retail. "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."
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.
Customers are able 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. Through the hands-on shopping experience, visitors can configure and customize product finishes and stylish details onsite.
"Optimizing the well-being of our customers is at the center of what we do," added Propst. "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 Retail is the retail arm of Herman Miller, comprised of Herman Miller, Design Within Reach and HAY.