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Chairs for the Road Warrior

Office Star provides furniture for a comfortable in-room work station.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Steve Pike
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Regardless of how plush, the room might not qualify as a “home away from home,’’ but many today certainly hit the mark as an “office away from the office.’’

That’s where Office Star comes in. The company has been providing office furniture to the hotel industry for the past 30 years, with a primary focus on office-style chairs for the guest-room desk.

“Generally that’s where people do their work on the road these days,’’ said Larry Schrock, director of marketing for Office Star. “We deliver a comfortable, well-performing chair. If a chair isn’t comfortable, chances are you’re not going to get as much work done.’’

And with a plethora of price and amenities options these days, comfortable surroundings – perhaps once considered an intangible – has become tangible the past several years. Think about it. Whereas at one time a hotel was judged on the comfort of its beds, nowadays discerning business travelers are judging hotels by the comfort of their in-room work stations.

“We’ve worked with a lot of different hotels on various projects,’’ said Schrock. “Hotels don’t spend as much as chairs as they do on mattresses, but they need to evaluate where their money is going. Our chairs aren’t overly expensive. They’re a good value for a good product that makes sense to put in a hotel.’’

Office Star’s clients have included mid-range, business-style hotels such as Hampton Inn, Courtyard by Marriott and several brands in the Choice Hotels chain. A privately-held company headquartered in Ontario, CA, the company imports furniture to its North American distribution centers in California and New Jersey.

“We distribute throughout the western hemisphere and we have an international sales department for the Caribbean, too,’’ Schrock said.

Office Star features a assortment of product that includes upholstered chairs, leather chairs, guest chairs and drafting chairs. The company also provides other products such as desks, accent pieces, file cabinets and entertainment units, but in the hospitality industry, Office Star has earned a reputation as a supplier of quality and value primarily for its chairs.

“We have unique products you don’t find in other places,’’ Schrock said. “I don’t think people like styles that they see everywhere.’’

Among Office Star’s more popular seating collections is “Space,’’ which combines contemporary design with ergonomic engineering. The collection has more than 100 models to choose from, many of which have an “Air Grid’’ or “”Breathable Mesh’’ back that allows for comfort and style.

The popular “WorkSmart’’ collection includes the smart-looking Executive Glove Soft Leather and Eco Leather chairs.

But regardless of the collection or style, when it comes to seat solutions for hotels, Office Star’s mantra is simple – literally. That is, “keep it simple.’’ Remember this is a chair, not the space shuttle.

“We want to keep the mechanics simple and easy to use,’’ Schrock said. “Typically somebody is not going to like a chair in a hotel room that they have to learn to operate.”
Steve Pike
Hotel Interactive® Editorial Division

Bio: Steve Pike is an award-winning golf writer and author who helped define golf business reporting in the early 1990s as the first Golf Business Editor for Golfweek magazine and later at Golf World and Golf Shop Operations magazines for Golf Digest. Pike further pioneered this genre at the PGA of America and Time Warner as the golf business writer and editor for PGA.com. He started in newspapers more than ...
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