Henk Schimmel had been active in the office furniture business for over 20 years when he decided to start his own company together with two friends in 2002.
They met a Chinese supplier of quality office chairs at a trade fair. Together, they designed and extensively tested the first chairs, after which they introduced the chairs on the Dutch market under their brand name, BenS. The chair quickly proved to be a great success, and today, the chairs are sold throughout Europe.
Over the years, the assortment has expanded into 45 different office chairs. New items are added to the range every year. It’s worth noting that the initial chair design continues to be one of the best-selling chairs. Thanks to Henk’s many years of experience in the field, the involvement of Italian designers and quality manufacturing (one of the best office chair manufacturers in China), BenS has established a solid brand name on the market. The chairs meet all ergonomic specifications and certifications, such as the Dutch ARBO NEN-1335 standard. The warranty on the chairs varies from two to five years per chair.
The chairs mostly find their way to customers through specialised office supply stores in the Netherlands and Belgium. The six-person team at BenS Kantoormeubelen also includes a project-based division. For these projects, chairs are delivered in series from 25 to sometimes 250 items for large interior design projects.
Internet sales have increased rapidly in recent years. Online orders are placed through their in-house webshop (benskantoormeubelen.nl) and platforms such as bol.com and Amazon. Amazon, in particular, has led to sales to individuals and businesses across Europe.
The fact that many people work from home nowadays has significantly increased revenue over the past couple of years. What’s great is that many employees order their office chair from BenS for their home office setup. They’re so happy with the product that they often request a BenS chair at work, and not long after, employers end up ordering BenS chairs for all their employees. About 30,000 office chairs are sold on average each year. This amounts to between 50 and 60 full shipping containers.
Business is booming, but Henk still sees opportunities for future growth. The Internet will ensure additional growth, and the company is looking at launching its products on the German market through specialised dealers.
Export countries:15 countries in Europe