National Business Furniture unveils showroom

1,200 of 60,000 products on display to public [PHOTO GALLERY]

NBF president Kent Anderson shows off a dual purpose set of private office furniture that can be used as a conference room when an employee is traveling.

National Business Furniture today opened its new 12,000-square-foot West Allis showroom to the public.

The showroom, which was previously located in the Shops of Grand Avenue and available to customers virtually, is housed in the company’s new headquarters.

NBF’s headquarters was in a 40,000-square-foot space at 735 N. Water St. in downtown Milwaukee until April 29, when it moved into the West Allis space. The 67,000-square-foot building was previously occupied by C&H Distributors, another company previously owned by NBF parent Takkt.

NBF remodeled the entire headquarters, replacing every material from the asphalt in the parking lot to the carpeting throughout the interior, said Kent Anderson, president of National Business Furniture. There are 110 employees working in the space, and room to add more in the future.

“We’d like to grow about 10 percent per year, so we have to keep adding employees to keep up with that pace. We probably will add about 15 or so this year,” Anderson said.

The showroom includes about 1,200 best-selling office furniture products from NBF’s inventory of about 60,000. It serves National Business Furniture and its sister companies, National Business Furniture Ltd. in Canada, OfficeFurniture.com, OfficeChairs.com and Dallas Midwest.

Employees roam the showroom with rolling desks equipped with cameras to show customers specific products in the showroom and explain features in real-time.

“Anything we can do to make customers feel more comfortable about the purchase they’re about to make,” Anderson said.

Among the newer products offered are the increasingly popular standing desks as well as a private office set that can be transformed into a small meeting space when an employee is traveling.

“That’s something we hear from customers a lot is they don’t have enough meeting space,” Anderson said. “If you go into someone’s office when they’re gone, their pictures are everywhere, you feel like you’re intruding.”

The set includes a taller desk that can fit several additional chairs when needed and a cabinet for personal items that closes to reveal a whiteboard.

NBF also has a variety of chairs and desks displayed, from traditional to modern to specialty.

“We have chairs for every size and type of person,” Anderson said. “We even have chairs for people in the military and police and things like that that have holsters on their belts.”

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Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.

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