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David Perry

Mattresses generate premium on sales floors

Retail Bedding Playbook

This week we offer a compelling math exercise that demonstrates the power of mattresses on furniture store sales floors.
     A look at Furniture/Today's latest Furniture Store Performance Report, one of the signature special reports we publish each year, reveals that the bedding category stands unchallenged as the greatest overachiever on furniture store floors.
     Our report found that furniture stores in 2012 devoted an average of 9% of their selling space to bedding. But that 9% of selling space did something remarkable: It generated 13% of total sales for the furniture stores.
     This is an extremely difficult feat to accomplish. As the table above illustrates, only two other product categories - motion chairs and decorative accessories - managed to generate a higher percentage of sales than of the space they command on furniture store floors. And each of those categories managed just a single percentage point of higher performance, far below bedding's four percentage point swing.
     Note that the master bedroom category, a fixture in most furniture stores, actually generates a lower percentage of overall sales than of the selling space it commands. In other words, the master bedroom category is an underachiever.
     The lessons of this math exercise are clear for furniture retailers, and they should point the way for action in the new year. Every square foot devoted to mattresses will give the retailer back far more than that investment in space. This is a smart way to boost sales in the new year. Bedding pays a dividend, while most other categories only hold their own, or even lose ground in the important equation of maximizing the value of floor space.

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