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David Perry

Top 25 bedding retailers top $2.85B

Bedding specialists take 10 of 25 spots

HIGH POINT — The nation's Top 25 bedding retailers generated bedding sales of about $2.85 billion last year, about one-third of the total bedding pie.

That's one of the key findings of Furniture/Today's third report on the nation's 25 largest bedding retailers. Like the last survey, published two years ago, it reveals a bedding marketplace in which the 25 heaviest hitters account for about 38% of all mattress and boxspring sales.

Once again the list is headed by Select Comfort, the Minneapolis-based airbed retailer, which reported bedding sales last year of $242.1 million.

There is a new No. 2 — Federated Department Stores — which moves up from the No. 3 position in 2000. Federated generated total bedding volume in all its units of $235 million in 2001.

Next on the list are two bedding specialty retailers, The Mattress Firm and Mattress Discounters, both of whom are affiliated with Bain Capital, the owner of Sealy, the industry's largest bedding producer. The Mattress Firm had total bedding sales of $220 million, just nosing out Mattress Discounters, with total bedding sales of $218 million, for the No. 3 position.

Moving way up the list is Sam's Club, which jumped from No. 10 two years ago to the No. 5 position today.

The rest of the Top 10 is comprised of Sleepy's, at $199 million; Mattress Giant, at $174 million; May Department Stores, at $130 million; the Berkshire Hathaway furniture division, with bedding sales of $120 million; and Rooms To Go, which took the No. 1 spot on Furniture/Today's Top 100 U.S. Furniture Stores this year, also at $120 million.

The Top 10 combined to produce total bedding sales of $1.86 billion last year, about 25% of all bedding sales.

The breakdown of Top 25 retailers by channel of distribution is similar this year to the rundown in 2000. The largest single channel represented is sleep shops. Ten of this year's Top 25 are bedding specialty retailers, representing 50% of total Top 25 sales.

They are Select Comfort, Mattress Firm, Mattress Discounters, Sleepy's, Mattress Giant, Rockaway Bedding, Dial-A-Mattress, Sleep Train, Sleep Fair and Sit 'n Sleep.

The next-largest channel is furniture stores, with nine companies on that list, representing 23% of total Top 25 sales.

Some say the sleep shop segment is in trouble, but sleep shops are strongly represented on the Top 25 list. In fact, the 10 sleep shops on the list together accounted for sales of more than $1.4 billion last year, which is more than twice the bedding sales collectively racked up by the nine furniture stores on the list — $649 million.

Sleep specialists account for five of the top seven spots on the list. The three largest are all in the elite club of bedding retailers with annual sales of more than $200 million.

Furniture stores, too

The first furniture retailer to make the list at $120 million is the Berkshire Hathaway furniture division, which consists of four furniture retailers: Nebraska Furniture Mart, R.C. Willey, Jordan's and Star Furniture, the top bedding retailers in their respective markets. Collectively bedding represents 9.2% of total sales for those retailers.

The furniture store generating the largest bedding volume in its own right is Rooms To Go, the fast-growing, Florida-based chain that does not even have bedding departments. That retailer successfully encourages a significant number of its consumers to include bedding in their master bedroom purchase, one of the keys to its success in the bedding category. About 9.5% of Rooms To Go's sales come from bedding. Rooms To Go generated bedding volume last year of $120 million, according to Furniture/Today's study.

The third-largest bedding retailer among the ranks of the furniture stores is Art Van, which had total bedding sales of $100 million last year. That is an impressive 17.4% of total sales.

The highest-percentage of bedding sales at a furniture store is the 18.4% generated by Slumberland. The other furniture stores to make the Top 25 list are all well below the 10% level that is said to be typical of the percentage of bedding sales for furniture stores.

At Levitz, the percentage is 7.7%, slightly lower than the 8% generated by Haverty's. W.S. Badcock is at 8.3%, the same as Rhodes. At Value City, the figure is 7%.

As a group, the nine furniture retailers on the Top 25 list accounted for about 8.7% of total bedding sales.

After furniture stores, department stores were the next-highest channel of distribution in terms of the number of Top 25 players. The department store list consists of Federated, May and JCPenney.

Two warehouse clubs are on the list: Sam's Club, a division of Wal-Mart, and Costco.

Sears stands as the only general merchandise retailer on the list, ranking No. 18 with estimated bedding sales last year of $60 million.

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Top 25 bedding retailers
Rank Company, home base 2001 bedding sales1 In millions $
1 Select Comfort, Minneapolis2 $242.1
2 Federated Department Stores, Cincinnati3 235.0
3 The Mattress Firm, Houston 220.0
4 Mattress Discounters, Upper Marlboro, Md. 218.0
5 Sam's Club, Bentonville, Ark. 200.0
6 Sleepy's, Bethpage, N.Y. 199.0
7 Mattress Giant, Addison, Texas 174.0
8 May Department Stores, St. Louis4 130.0
9 Berkshire Hathaway furniture division, Omaha, Neb. 120.0
10 Rooms To Go, Seffner, Fla. 120.0
11 JCPenney, Plano, Texas 103.0
12 Art Van, Warren, Mich. 100.0
13 Rockaway Bedding, Randolph, N.J. 94.0
14 Dial-A-Mattress, Long Island City, N.Y. 90.0
15 Levitz Home Furnishings, Woodbury, N.Y. 70.0
16 The Sleep Train, North Highlands, Calif. 66.0
17 Sleep Fair/Mattress Warehouse, Akron, Ohio 63.0
18 Sears, Hoffman Estates, Ill. 60.0
19 Havertys, Atlanta 55.0
20 Costco, Issaquah, Wash. 55.0
21 Slumberland, Little Canada, Minn. 50.0
22 Value City, Columbus, Ohio 47.0
23 Sit'n Sleep, Carson, Calif. 46.9
24 Rhodes, Atlanta 45.0
25 W.S. Badcock, Mulberry, Fla. 42.0
1. Sales figures are for conventional mattresses/boxsprings, foam bedding, futons, air beds, adjustable beds and waterbeds only. Does not include headboards, frames, mattress pads, pillows and related products.
2. Includes approximately $10 million in sales from its wholesale channel (QVC and home furnishings retailers).
3. Federated divisions include Bloomingdale's, The Bon Marche, Burdines, Macy's East, Macy's West and Rich's Lazarus Goldsmith's.
4. May divisions include Famous Barr, Filene's, Foley's, Hecht's, Kaufmann's, Meier & Frank and Robinsons-May.
All sales information, except for that supplied by publicly held companies that break out bedding sales, are Furniture/Today market research estimates. All data for calendar 2001.
Source: Furniture/Today market research

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