The brewing trade war between the U.S. and its major trading partners may lead furniture maker Herman Miller Inc. to relocate some of its manufacturing if costs become prohibitive, CFO Jeff Stutz said.
“We are obviously feeling the effects of tariffs that are putting pressure on our business as it stands today and have been all fiscal year,” Stutz said on July 3.
The Zeeland, Mich.-based creator of the ubiquitous office chair has plants in the U.S. and abroad, including China and the U.K. While the company has no concrete plans at this time, it could shift some manufacturing to other countries or find third-party companies in those regions to make products for them, Stutz said. He didn’t specify which factories could be moved.
CEO Brian Walker said the company is keeping an eye on U.S. actions related to tariffs and responses from other countries.
“As a result, we are proactively developing and continue to refine contingency plans,” Walker said on July 3 on an earnings conference call with analysts. He didn’t elaborate.
The furniture company surged on July 3, a day after posting fiscal fourth-quarter profit that topped analysts’ estimates. The shares jumped the most since 2011, rising 11% to $38.10. That pared the stock’s decline this year to 4.9%.
By Uliana Pavlova