ZEELAND, Mi. - Office furniture giant Herman Miller - number 5 on the FDMC 300 and the second-biggest contract furniture operation in North America - has named industry veteran Debbie Propst as President, Herman Miller Retail. Propst will lead Herman Miller's global retail business across the company and its portfolio of brands, including Herman Miller, Design Within Reach, and HAY.
Propst joins Herman Miller from Bed, Bath & Beyond, Inc., where she served most recently as President of One Kings Lane, a predominantly online brand for proprietary, designer and vintage home furnishings, as well as the Chief Brand Officer of Bed, Bath & Beyond. Propst joined One Kings Lane in 2012 and was named President in 2016 with end-to-end responsibility for the business and its transformation into a high-end lifestyle brand.
Before joining One Kings Lane, Propst spent seven years at retailer Abercrombie & Fitch, where she was a head merchant responsible for multiple lines of business across top brands such as Hollister, abercrombie kids, and Abercrombie & Fitch. Her duties included product development, production, inventory management, and pricing and promotional strategies.
"Debbie's track record for building extraordinary brands, connecting with customers, and leading an innovative, global business is second to none," said Herman Miller CEO Andi Owen. "She will provide great leadership, experience, and a fresh customer perspective that will complement and enhance all that we do."
Retail is a key growth driver for Herman Miller, with revenue growing organically at more than 10 percent annually over the last three years. The company says it anticipates continued sales growth from both ecommerce platforms and the robust rollout of new HAY locations in key markets.
In October, Herman Miller picked up two big European acquisitions: paying $78 million for an additional 34 percent equity interest in Denmark's HAY A/S, a European leader in ancillary furniture, as well as British furniture designer naughtone for $46 million.
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