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BoFoThe Business of Furniture January 20, 2021Introducing HAT Collective

BoFoIntroducingHAT CollectiveThere is strength in unity. That’s the thinking behind HAT Collective, a brand that unifies a range of office product solutions fromseveral well-established industry brands,together into one cohesive offering.HAT COLLECTIVE WILL BUILD UPON THE“EASY-TO-DO-BUSINESS-WITH” PHILOSOPHY,A HALLMARK CARRIED OVER FROM ITSLEGACY PRODUCT LINE BRANDS.THE COLLECTION OFFERS A “ONE-STOP”SIMPLIFIED PURCHASING AND ORDERINGPROCESS FOR DEALERS, ALONG WITHCOMPLEMENTARY SERVICES FOR SPACEPLANNING, DESIGN AND INSTALLATION.by Rob Kirkbride38Though the brand is new, the origin ofInnovative, the first of the brands that cametogether to create HAT Collective, has beenaround since 1986, according to David Fox,chief executive officer of Innovative ErgonomicSolutions, the parent company of HAT Collective.Innovative was founded as a monitor mountcompany that was agnostic in terms of industry.For the first 30 years, it worked to supply theoffice, but also created health care monitorarms and those for retail. In 2015, the companyfirst started a dedicated contract office groupthat included a few monitor arms and desktoprisers.HAT ContractThe Business of Furniture Subscribe at bellowpress.com January 20, 2021

BoFoIt was a limited offering and Fox said the company wanted totake its ergonomic roots and go deeper. So a couple of yearslater, in 2018, Innovative acquired the HAT Contract brand,which added sit-stand desks and some accessories.“That reallykind of catapulted us with some scale into the contract officemarket and enabled us to broaden our sales team,” Fox said.“In the beginning of (2020), about 10 minutes before COVIDhit in February, we acquired the SiS Ergo brand,” he said of thecompany that produces more stylized, height-adjustable basesalong with some accessories.“Really, our goal here with HAT Collective is to pull all of thesebrands — Innovative, HAT and SiS Ergo — under one bannerwith a comprehensive go-to market strategy to maximize thevalue to the customer,” he added.As a brand, HAT Collective is designed to bring togethersophisticated design and a focus on ergonomics, both of whichsupport worker health, productivity and happiness. Productlines range from height-adjustable workstations and ergonomicmonitor arms to storage units, safety and noise-cancellationdividers and accessories, all available in fixed, adaptable ormobile formats. Competitively priced, available for quickshipping and with easy customization capabilities, HAT Collectiveprovides customers with an array of options.HAT Collective will build upon the “easy-to-do-business-with”philosophy, a hallmark carried over from its legacy product linebrands. The collection offers a “one-stop” simplified purchasingand ordering process for dealers, along with complementaryservices for space planning, design and installation. It also offersan e-commerce solution called HomeWork, which is tailor-madefor dealers to address and offer products for their customers’work-from-home needs. Product design, manufacturing andfulfillment are supported by operations in Easton, Pennsylvania,San Jose, California, Denmark and Asia, along with warehouseson the East and West coasts.40SiS ErgoThe Business of Furniture Subscribe at bellowpress.com January 20, 2021

together or at a distance, our sophisticatedproduct collection lets you work your way.BoFohatcollective.comWhile any of the names of the three companies could haveworked, they picked HAT Collective for several reasons, saidLibby Ferin, vice president of marketing, who joined the companyin 2019 after working in marketing roles at Herman Miller andSteelcase.“I think HAT, as in height-adjustable table, it’s kind of the coreof what we do in ergonomics,” she said. “When we start talkinga little bit more about the ethos of HAT Collective, it’s this ideaof, I can sit, I can stand, I can be ergonomically correct, but Ihave choices, too, and I’m kind of empowered on how I want tosit or stand. So that’s the guts of HAT. And then the Collectivepart came from the idea that we have a multitude of brandsthat come together collectively, but on top of that, it’s this ideathat collectively with our dealer and design partners out in thecommunity, we’re stronger together. And that to me is evenmore significant. So there is this core ethos collective not onlyfrom a brand and product portfolio perspective, but also from arelationship perspective.”The HAT Collective brand logo, while uniquely distinct, payshomage to the SiS Ergo and HAT Contract product lines. Clean,thin lines speak to the efficiency of the Scandinavian design,a nod to SiS Ergo’s Danish design roots. The logo itself is anabstract image composed of the letters that form the word hat.The Business of Furniture Subscribe at bellowpress.com January 20, 202143

BoFoDealers and the company’s relationship to them is core to thebranding efforts and the way it relates to an important part ofthe sales process. Ferin said the company is dedicated to makinglife easier for its dealers by being “the easiest to do businesswith.” The goal of HAT Collective is to take the complexity out ofthe process and make the brand a one-stop shop for them.“So we’re not only adding all the things that they’ve loved thatthey might’ve known with HAT Contract or SiS Ergo, dependingon who they are or both, but we’re taking this idea of quick andaffordable and a value-oriented product. And now we’ve got thisidea of custom-made quick, which is almost an oxymoron, right?We are able to do custom quickly and efficiently underneath oneumbrella,” she said. “So no matter what their needs are, theystill have this idea on top of all of that that we’re delivering greatservice, which we’re always known for.”To get word out on the new brand, HAT Collective is takingits products on the road, meeting with dealers across thecountry and pointing them to the new HAT Collective website,www.hatcollective.com, which allows them to explore all productand service offerings. The website’s configuration product tool,paired with a variety of inspirational images, helps end usersenvision the solutions they want. To celebrate and supportits launch, HAT Collective will be introducing new products,educational webinars, continuing education unit presentationsand other initiatives throughout 2021.44SiS Ergo FactoryThe Business of Furniture Subscribe at bellowpress.com January 20, 2021

BoFoAs safely as possible, HAT Collective is also inviting industryprofessionals to visit its six showrooms, which are in New YorkCity, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Irvine, California, and SantaClara, California.It isn’t easy differentiating between height-adjustable furniturecompanies, but Ferin said she believes HAT Collective stands outfor several reasons. First, SiS Ergo has a strong design heritageborn in Denmark with its own designers and ability to customizea product.“If you want a different size top, you can get that quickly,” shesaid. “If you want it to fit into system furniture and attach topanels in a certain way, we can design it, customize it, produceit and ship it and have it here from Denmark in as little as sixweeks which nobody can do as quickly as we can. Plus, we doit with high design and at very affordable prices. And we’ll dosmaller projects; a 50-position project is great for us. There area lot of big companies that can customize a lot, but it’s not quick,it’s not a small quantity, and it’s not inexpensive. So we feel wehave the only business in the country, quite frankly, that can dothat.”HAT ContractThe Business of Furniture Subscribe at bellowpress.com January 20, 202147

BoFoHAT Collective also has a number of products that help with theidea of collaboration and quick-change workplaces — productsthat are flexible that can be easily moved around and reorientedto different needs in the office.“HAT Collective is revolutionizing the contract office market,”Fox said. “The pandemic has proven how much the marketplaceneeds well-designed, price-accessible, commercial-gradeworkplace solutions that enable individuals of all generations tochoose how and where they want to work. At the same time, ourcustomers want a partner that is quick to respond, solutionsoriented and easy to do business with on all fronts. With HATCollective, we are creating a new experience with a diversity ofproducts and services — all under one new exciting brand.”While HAT Collective has grown 20% a year, it expects to addmore to the collective down the road with more acquisitions,according to Fox.“We feel with each one of the acquisitions, our internal mantrais 1 1 has to equal 3,” he said. “We don’t want to just buycompanies for the sake of buying them. We want them to be ableto come on board, and we make them better, and they make usbetter. That’s really been the case with SiS and with HAT. So Ithink that it’s very likely that we’ll see more of that. I think rightnow for the next six months, we’ve probably got some digestingto do and get HAT Collective launched. But where do we go fromhere? One of the advantages of the acquisitions is that we’veacquired a lot of really good talent in terms of people.“We’ve got a great infrastructure now from a company that fiveyears ago, didn’t have a contract office business, to today wherewe’ve doubled and tripled down. We’ve got the infrastructure;we’ve got really good talent.” BoF48HATThe Business of Furniture Subscribe at bellowpress.com January 20, 2021