The Office Furniture Breath Holding Competition Continues...

Posted by Expert Gadget Reviewer on Wednesday, 24 March 2010

The past week has provided further evidence of what a brutal year it has been for the office furniture industry:

  • Steelcase: The world's largest office furniture manufacturer, closed out their fiscal Q4 with a loss of $65.7 million, and closed out fiscal 2010 with a loss of $13.6 million on total revenue of $2.3 billion. This number came in lower than the companies estimates, primarily due to increases in tax valuation, lower than expected revenues, and additional restructuring activities.
  • Knoll: Announced last week that they are closing their Kentwood MI. plant, cutting approximately 100 unionized employees.
  • Herman Miller: Announced Q3 2010 results with sales declining 7%, however net quarterly earnings were $8.3 million...
  • HNI (Parent company of Allsteel): Had an "unofficial" furlough week for a number of employees in Muscatine IA. (their longtime home city). As reported by the Muscatine Journal, employees "could take the week off as a paid vacation if that's how and when they wanted to use their vacation days..."
The actions of the major manufacturers listed above, reflect the brutal reality that the last quarter of 2009 and first quarter of 2010 have been particularly sloooow, with very little project activity. How long can you hold your breath???