Kimball acquires Poppin, digital-oriented commercial furniture maker
November 9, 2020 | 3:18 pm CST
Poppin showroom.

JASPER, Ind. -- Kimball International, Inc. has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Poppin, Inc., a tech-enabled, B2B commercial furniture design company.

Headquartered in New York City, Poppin designs commercial-grade furniture that is made to mix and match in today’s modern office and work-from-home environments. Poppin has combined its digitally native platform, with a 17-person salesforce and network of five showrooms to become one of the industry’s leading disruptors primarily serving small to medium corporations and the direct to consumer market.

The purchase price is $110 million in initial cash consideration plus additional contingent payments based on revenue and profitability milestones achieved through June 30, 2024, with potential total cash consideration equal to $180 million if all milestones are achieved.

Poppin achieved a 40 percent annual compound growth rate in revenue between 2014 and 2019; however, the impact of Covid-19 has caused revenue to decline in 2020. For the first nine months of 2020 ended September 30, Poppin had sales of $44 million and achieved a gross margin of 36 percent.

Kristie Juster, CEO of Kimball International, said, “The addition of Poppin to the Kimball International family provides us with a meaningful growth engine that aligns with our recently-launched 2.0 Connect Strategy and with our longer term vision to create a leading omnichannel commercial furnishings design powerhouse supported by a robust manufacturing and sourcing infrastructure. The acquisition greatly accelerates the development of our eBusiness platform, and we have identified multiple levers to drive significant revenue synergies.

“Our Stage One priorities include: Scale Poppin’s playbook into secondary markets, where Kimball International has long-standing relationships; Accelerate work from home and corporate partnerships for Poppin and the Etc. brand; Launch Poppin privacy pods into Kimball International’s dealer network; and Develop a complementary Poppin Pro Dealer Program.

“Additional growth opportunities that we will pursue include expanding Poppin’s vertical expertise and product line in the health and hospitality verticals, leveraging Poppin’s industrial design capabilities, and launching new, innovative products together that address the needs of the re-imagined workplace in both office and work from home.”

Randy Nicolau, chief executive officer and co-founder of Poppin, said, “This partnership with Kimball International is an important step toward accelerating our growth and enabling us to further our position as a one-stop solution for inspiring workplaces with well-designed fast and flexible commercial-grade furnishings. Kimball International shares our view of the future of work, which we see as comprised of traditional office environments, satellite offices and work-from-home. We look forward to working together to create uplifting environments that can be accessed through a broad range of channels.”

Poppin will operate as a separate business unit within Kimball International and will continue to be led by Nicolau and its leadership team. See

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Karl Forth

Karl D. Forth is online editor for CCI Media. He also writes news and feature stories in FDMC Magazine, in addition to newsletters and custom publishing projects. He is also involved in event organization, and compiles the annual FDM 300 list of industry leaders. He can be reached at