The merger of Bestar and Bush Industries occurred in time for the combined enterprise to address a market aligning with its core competencies, including e-commerce and product development, and ready to tap key product categories, including the home office furniture segment, such that the company anticipates adding 30 to 40 employees to its workforce in the coming weeks, said Mark Weppner, svp/marketing, design and engineering for the company.
To address coronavirus-related health concerns, the company noted, new and existing employees occupying the Bush Jamestown, NY, Erie, PA, and Sacramento, CA facilities in the U.S. and the Bestar plants in Canada must follow new safety protocols including social distancing, hand sanitizing and washing, wearing face masks, entering and exiting through specific doors only, and mandatory temperature checks.
Weppner noted that he does not expect the company’s growth to slow down. New finishes for many of the most popular collections under the residentially oriented Bush Furniture brand including Cabot, Salinas, Somerset and Key West will debut this summer to provide greater color varieties. Meanwhile, Weppner noted that he expects a surge in commercial-grade Bush Business Furniture orders from companies that elect to keep their employees home permanently, as well as those that determine to reconfigure their offices.
As the company has developed dedicated fulfillment and operational capabilities, as well as a knowledgeable sales and marketing staff, e-commerce has driven growth, as it works with online retailers such as Wayfair, Amazon, Overstock and Cymax as well as the websites of Office Depot and Staples.
“Both Bestar and Bush were growing rapidly prior to our merger due to our excellence at selling furniture online, and now more than ever that’s where consumers are buying,” Weppner said. “Although our Jamestown manufacturing facility was closed for several weeks, our distribution centers in Erie, PA and Sacramento, CA remained open, and our sales continued to climb.”
With the Jamestown facility again open, Bestar-Bush is working to move product and replenish inventory “at a time when many people in our region are looking for work,” Weppner said. “It’s the perfect time to grow our team.”
He added, “Now that companies are more comfortable with remote work, we’re expecting further growth in home office sales as many of them make a permanent shift to work from home. We’ve added many contemporary finish options to our commercial-grade products as well to make them accessible to the work from home professional. We’re also anticipating many office redesigns in the near future to focus more on giving employees personal space.”