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  • David Perry

Mattress industry sales cool off in March

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The mattress industry, which recorded sizzling growth in January and February, came back down to earth in March, with units declining by 4.1% and dollars posting modest growth of 4.2%.

Still, the March Bedding Barometer report issued by the International Sleep Products Assn. puts the industry's first quarter performance at ultra-high levels, with units up 10.1% and dollars up 19.2%, results that are questioned as too high by some veteran bedding observers.

In its first look at the performance of the specialty sleep segment this year, the Bedding Barometer report showed another stellar growth story, with specialty sleep mattress units jumping 43.9% in the first quarter and the dollar value of specialty sleep mattresses soaring 49.4%.

Growth was much more modest for innerspring mattresses in the first quarter, the ISPA report said, with unit sales up 4.9% from a year earlier and the dollar value of shipments up 10.5%.

In March, innerspring mattress unit sales declined 9.4%, compared to a 34.2% gain in specialty mattress units, ISPA said. The dollar value of innerspring mattress shipments declined 5.9% in March, while the dollar value of specialty mattress shipments jumped 38.4%.

In March, the average unit price for the industry jumped 8.7%, to $212.47. For the first quarter, the average unit price was up 8.2%, to $212.10, ISPA said.

The industry's performance in March was much worse than in February, when units were up 18.6% from February 2011 and dollars were up 27.1%.

The Bedding Barometer report represents the performance of 18 bedding producers who account for about 65% of the industry's unit volume and about 74% of the dollar value of bedding shipments, ISPA says.

But the bedding industry's trade association says the performance of the companies in its sample may not necessarily represent the performance of the industry as a whole.


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