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As workers head back to the office, will they find the old desk and chair waiting?

Caroline Champlin Jun 28, 2021
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As workers head back to the office, will they find the old desk and chair waiting?

Caroline Champlin Jun 28, 2021
Heard on:
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HTML EMBED:
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Office furniture company Herman Miller is scheduled to release its quarterly earnings report today. What are the prospects for furniture retailers moving forward now that companies are starting to navigate work-from-home and back-to-office strategies?

As companies reopen offices, getting the facilities ready might not be as simple as dusting off the desks — because there might not be desks left to dust.

Dave Marcotte with Kantar Consulting said many companies sold their furniture last year.

“They all loaded up on cash as quickly as possible to have a buffer for uncertain times,” he said.

With supply chain issues, Marcotte said securing new furniture to replace the old may be expensive and slow. But, he adds, returning to the building may be enough for some workers.

“I don’t even think they need furniture to make people excited to go back to the office … if they just throw out throw pillows,” he said.

But assuming workers do need somewhere to sit, some companies are finding cheaper options.

“More people are coming in with the intention of buying used furniture just because it’s so much less expensive,” said Eric Goldman, who owns Advanced Liquidators in Los Angeles.

Goldman said he’s happily selling furniture back to the same companies he bought from last year.

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