Mirra: The Dismal Year’s Bright Spot
Global sales of Mirra, a product targeted for the mid-priced seating category that costs about 15 percent less than the highly acclaimed Aeron chair, have far exceeded Herman Miller’s expectations since it began shipping in August.
“We continue to be excited about the energy around our new Mirra chair line,” Herman Miller Chief Financial Officer Beth Nickels said during the company’s Dec. 18 conference call with brokerage analysts.
While Herman Miller won’t offer specifics on production and sales volumes, Mirra sales so far have outpaced original expectations by 50 percent, spokesman Mark Schurman said. High interest in Mirra has come both domestically and internationally, Schurman said.
To meet the strong demand, Herman Miller recently increased production of Mirra in Holland and has begun to build the chair at facilities in Great Britain and Asia to serve those markets, Schurman said.
Herman Miller introduced Mirra at NeoCon in June. The chair takes many of the design cues that Aeron brought to the market in 1994 including the same AireWeave seat that helps to give Aeron its unique look, as well as an open-air back made of a flexible polymer that flexes with a user’s torso. Mirra also comes in several colors that customers can mix and match, 10 for the seating and eight for the backing.
Mirra, made primarily from recycled and recyclable materials, received a Gold Award in the 2003 “Best of NeoCon” design competition and went on to earn other accolades, including being named one of the top-10 new green building products by BuildingGreen Inc., publisher of the GreenSpec Product Directory and Environmental Building News, and one of the top 25 Best Products of the Year by Fortune magazine.
Find another office chair that looks like a stylized exoskeleton — not to mention one that’s 96 percent recyclable. And unlike its more costly big brother, the Aeron, the Mirra has a Y-shaped back support that adjusts automatically,” Fortune stated in its December issue.
While Mirra has sold well, so has Aeron, which eliminated concerns that Mirra would cannibalize Aeron sales.