Discounted Design: Here’s How The Eames Lounger Ended Up At Costco

published Apr 28, 2017
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Turns out, there’s more than just 36-roll packs of toilet paper and giant muffins at your local warehouse store. We’ve recently discovered that you can also snag an authentic Eames Lounge chair at Costco, for quite a discount.

Earlier this week, we were tipped off to the designer deal via a Facebook group for mid-century modern fans. The photo was of the iconic chair and its ottoman next to Herman Miller boxes stacked on pallets in the warehouse. The price for both pieces? $3,899.99.

(Image credit: Gil Gomez)

Not exactly IKEA prices, but the lounger and ottoman set pictured here, in walnut veneer and black MCL leather, retails for $5,190 on DWR.

If you think the mid-century staple ending up at a discount retailer is strange, well, so did we. I reached out to Herman Miller for comment, and here’s what they had to say:

Herman Miller has determined that Costco obtained the Eames Lounge Chairs and Ottomans in question through a company who misrepresented the intended use of the product. Although these particular chairs are Herman Miller goods produced at our Michigan manufacturing facilities, Costco is not an authorized Herman Miller retailer.

As of Wednesday, these were at the Palm Desert Costco, and could still be in your local store, though the item has since been removed from Costco’s website (and is also no longer available on Sam’s Club, where it was priced at $3,999). A request for comment from Costco’s buyers hasn’t been answered as of press time, but we will update if we hear anything.

The product does at least appear to be authentic, however. Online reviews noted—before the SKU was removed— that the sets came with certificates of authenticity. And Herman Miller more or less confirmed that “[i]n this specific instance, we are not aware of any changes made to the design or quality of the Eames Lounge Chairs and Ottomans that Costco has obtained.” But followed it up with this caveat:

“However, Herman Miller cannot guarantee the condition or authenticity of the components used by unauthorized retailers or guarantee coverage for products purchased through Costco.”

Though we respect the practice of having authorized retailers, if you think about it, the Eameses always meant for their designs to be accessible. Even though $3,900 is not affordable for everyone, they might’ve been into the fact that their famous seat was at a warehouse club, if even for a brief moment.

What do you think? Have you spotted the chairs in your local store? Tell us in the comments!