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CLAYTON, MO-Furniture Brands International has hired Colliers Corporate Solutions, a division of St. Louis-based Colliers Turley Martin, to a three-year contract to manage its 220 properties and handle strategic planning for all property matters. The home furnishings company has just less than 23 million square feet across North America. The hiring “allows Furniture Brands to stay focused on its business strategy and core business,” said Chris Brumbaugh, senior corporate counsel and director of global corporate real estate for the company.

Colliers earned the contract after helping Furniture Brands relocate to a new 53,457-square-foot headquarters in Clayton, says Frank McCafferty, SVP with Colliers. “We expanded their space by 40% while keeping lease costs comparable to the former site,” he says.

His company will provide for Furniture Brands all commercial real estate strategic advisory services, lease administration, and transaction and construction management services, as well as all lease administration and transaction management. “We have excellent technology tools, great dashboards that show where the company has space, how well they’re using, and where the consolidation and optimization opportunities are. One of the keys at Furniture Brands is that they don’t have a good handle of what space they have and where they have it, we’ve gone online with our database and have developed it now,” McCafferty tells GlobeSt.com. The property is largely industrial warehouse and manufacturing, with some retail and office.

He says the current economic climate has convinced a lot of companies that third-party management is the way to go. “This deal mirrors a lot of what we’re seeing today,” McCaferrty says. “These companies have had not much control over their different operating units, a conglomeration of multiple lines, each one responsible for their own facility efforts.” Now, he says, you’re seeing companies consolidate under one umbrella firm, with tighter budgets and a greater scrutiny on how money is getting spent. “Property is still the number three line item for most companies,” McCafferty says. Colliers handles property for companies such as Dunkin’ Brands, H&R Block, Edward Jones, the UPS Store and Humana.

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