Office Ready: Bush Targets Small Business with Two New Easy Assembly Furniture Collections
Monday, March 26, 2007 - High Point, NC -
Bush Industries is looking to strengthen its position in the small office segment with a rebranding effort of its Bush Business Furniture division that includes the debut of easy-to-assemble office collections.
The two lines being unveiled by Bush here at the spring High Point Market are Office In an Hour and Office Ready, collections positioned for small business customers with employees between 10 and 100.
While the collection offers features that are unique to each and are priced at different levels, Bush officials said the overall objective in designing both lines was to offer small businesses RTA furniture solutions that offer simplified assembly methods.
In addition, Bush is streamlining its brand efforts in commercial office focusing on Bush Business Furniture and eliminating the Rohr brand that had been used less frequently in recent years. Focusing on a single brand also allows the company to provide retailers a clearer message when promoting its office furniture platform, said Susan Dountas, Bush’s VP/Brand Marketing.
“Our message is that we offer total commercial office furniture solutions to businesses with 10 to 100 employees,” she explained. “We have been successful in selling RTA products to companies with one to nine employees, and this is the next step for us.”
On the product side, the Office in An Hour is offered in straight and “L” configurations that are priced at $799 and $999, respectively. Available in one finish, both collections include upper storage, panel systems for privacy and file storage. Bush officials said both configurations can be fully assembled in less than an hour.
“This really creates an easy solution for small businesses,” noted Jim Schmidt, VP/Marketing and Merchandising for Bush. “It is positioned for an office that is on a budget but needs furniture that meets ANSI/BIFMA standards.”
Office In An Hour is an import line made from MDF and features metal legs and supports.
In simplifying the assembly process the Office In An Hour configurations are shipped semi-assembled with certain storage elements, such as files and hardware pre-installed. In addition, the carton has been redesigned to open easier – similar to a Federal Express box, according to Schmidt – and all components are packed in order of assembly.
The Office Ready collection includes similar easy-to-assemble features offered in Office In An Hour, but it is marketed as a step-up line. The line features Bush’s Diamond Coat surfacing – on melamine panels – said to be scratch-, abrasion-, and chemical resistant. Also featured are higher-end design elements such as rounded edges and lockable storage cabinets for added security.
Manufactured domestically, the Office Ready line is expected to be available in July.
When developing the new collections, Bush solicited input from small business owners and procurement agents on initial designs and what features they wanted/needed in office furniture. “Among al the feedback we received, most people said we had features that were thoughtful.” Schmidt added.
Bush is positioning both new collections for office superstores, commercial office retailers and contract wholesalers.
“This is a continuation of our strategy that requires we leverage both the proven manufacturing capability of our domestic operations and the economies available to us through our global sourcing function.” said James L. Sherbert, President and CEO of Bush Industries. “Bush remains predominantly a domestic manufacturer, yet efficiency-forced consolidation is necessary. The market has convinced us that we have the right strategic direction, but these are tough decisions to make, even for a small operation like our Little Valley plant, because they involved people. The result of these actions will yield a more nimble and aggressive company -- fully capable of delivering exceptional value to our customers, providing meaningful career opportunities to our employees, and of continuing support to the communities in which we do business.”
The Little Valley facility manufactures and finishes specialty parts for the company's core furniture products and has long been a satellite plant of the Jamestown operation. It has approximately 100 employees, half of whom will be offered a transfer opportunity to Jamestown. The employees were informed today of the upcoming changes in compliance with the Federal WARN Act. The move will likely also affect some administrative positions at its headquarters offices. The company’s announcement aligns with the overall organizational strategy announced over a year ago, which has included rationalization of operations at its Tijuana, Mexico plant in November 2006 and to move two manufacturing departments from its Erie, PA facility to Jamestown in February 2007. Bush plans to fully close the Little Valley facility by the end of 2007.
Bush Industries, Inc. is a leading global manufacturer of ready-to-assemble furniture for home and office, as well as a supplier of diverse surface technologies, whose business model focuses on driving consumer value. The company is headquartered in Jamestown, NY, with manufacturing plants and offices in New York State, Pennsylvania, China and Germany.
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