Herman Miller Targets Modern Consumer With Design Within Reach Acqusition

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- High-end furniture designer Herman Miller (MLHR) is seeking to grow in the residential furnishing market with its acquisition of Design Within Reach (DWRI), announced late on Thursday. Herman Miller CEO Brian Walker told TheStreet on Friday the purchase of DWR is part of a vision to expand the company's presence in modern design and become a brand for both the home and the office.

"We can become much more of a lifestyle brand," Walker said of the DWR purchase in a telephone interview. Walker said DWR's successful launch of a larger store format called Studio was a key driver of the transaction. 

DWR is currently the largest retailer of Herman Miller's furniture designs, with nearly 20% of its total selection designed by Herman Miller. Walker expects that as DWR prioritizes large Studio formats, the mix of Herman Miller designs will now grow in DWR stores as a result of both companies' merger.

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In addition to giving Herman Miller's brand more visibility by way of DWR's base of customers, the company will also acquire a growing portfolio of exclusive furniture designs. The deal "won't be turning DWR into Herman Miller," Walker noted. Instead, he said Herman Miller would look to benefit from a wider presence in DWR stores, which Walker called "a marketplace for a modern lifestyle."

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