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Published in Manufacturing

Product diversification helped Haworth soften nearly 20 percent sales decline in 2020

BY Monday, March 22, 2021 12:38pm

HOLLAND — While furniture maker Haworth Inc. absorbed an expected hit to sales in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the company cited its diversification as a way of easing the blow.

The Holland-based privately held and family-owned company recently released figures for global sales in 2020. Haworth finished the pandemic-consumed year with $1.81 billion in sales, which was a sharp 19 percent decrease from 2019 totals.

Haworth president and CEO Franco Bianchi COURTESY PHOTO

“Haworth responded to the events of 2020 by leveraging our differentiation and global reach,” Haworth president and CEO Franco Bianchi said in a statement. “The effect has been very different across our business segments, with commercial interiors being hit less than originally expected.

“Diversification between commercial interiors, lifestyle design and performance technology further enhanced our financial performance and, more importantly, all sectors learned to engage their market through digital experiences. We have entered 2021 with optimism, especially for the second half of the year.”

Many of the company’s 2020 initiatives focused on bolstering Haworth’s digital presence and capabilities. This included a redesigned website and new online store. Haworth also launched its virtual showroom to reach new customers in a year when popular trade shows like NeoCon were either cancelled or presented as digital events.

Haworth also launched new products in 2020 to meet emerging needs during the pandemic, including an upside height-adjustable table and its Be_Hold line of modular storage units.

While in the design phase before the COVID-19 pandemic, Haworth also launched its Pergola workspace product — a large, makeshift workspace that can be enclosed or kept open.

“In 2020, our primary concern has been for the health and safety of our members, dealers, customers and their loved ones,” Bianchi said. “The pandemic’s impact on our economy and communities has been incredibly challenging. Our members and dealers have shown tremendous resilience, creativity and heart.”

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